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Budget latest: how council cuts are hitting education

Services slashed western isles

- The education and children's services budget of pound;40.3 million marked a cash-terms decrease of pound;871,000, or pound;1.1m in real terms. Schools' devolved budgets fell pound;752,000 in real terms. Savings included voluntary redundancy packages for teachers (pound;521,000), school "rationalisation" (pound;226,000), removal of free school meals for P1-3 (pound;75,000) and reduced itinerant staffing (pound;40,000). Councillors took a swipe at the Scottish Government for effectively landing it with an extra pound;1m annual burden by blocking plans to close several schools.

pound;193k cash-terms cut


- The education budget has been reduced by pound;193,000 in cash terms to pound;40.4m Schools' devolved budgets have gone down by pound;105,000, or 12 per cent, to pound;805,000. Shetland Islands Council said the main savings in the coming years would be in staffing of schools. School closures, the introduction of music tuition charges and the axing of knitting lessons have been the cause of considerable public protest.

Other councils' education budgets were covered in the previous two issues of The TESS.

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