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Highland warning on McCrone funds allocation

* Highland has warned the Scottish Executive and other local authorities to change the way McCrone funds have been allocated or risk losing key elements of the package. Rural councils have lost out, it argues.

The authority estimates it is pound;3.25 million short over the next three years and will be unable to implement the full McCrone deal, such as back-up help for teachers and improvements to probation. Highland along with Argyll and Bute and the island authorities say Executive calculations overlooked the proportionately higher costs of employing teachers in rural authorities.

Meanwhile, education cuts of between pound;800,000 and pound;1 million were set to be debated by Highland yesterday (Thursday) to keep spending within limits.

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