Bill Smith said he was disappointed that council staff had been sidelined. Mr Smith added: "I personally don't want to see any economies at all, but they can be made without affecting the quality and scope of education."
Jim Smith, the council's vice-convener, said that officials were too busy to do the work and too close to be "dispassionate". Mr Smith added: "If education doesn't start trimming, it will swallow up every other budget but roads and transport."
The council's education budget faced an 8.2 per cent cut amounting to Pounds 2 million, but this has been reduced by more than Pounds 1 million after calling on council reserves. A Pounds 900,000 shortfall remains.
Maisie Colligan, a former teacher, told fellow councillors: "What is at the bottom of this is that we want these unpalatable things said to us by someone else."