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Rebate fuels the friction

East Lothian and Midlothian are battling to be reimbursed for Pounds 936 per pupil which they claim Edinburgh received last year in Scottish Office grant to cover non-teaching costs in addition to charging the other councils.

The pressures being imposed on some councils is evident in the former Lothian Region where the three small authorities have failed to maintain a united front against the city council in Edinburgh.

East Lothian objects to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities' proposed scheme, Midlothian, a net importer of special needs pupils, is more relaxed about higher payments and West Lothian prefers to continue with the existing local agreement.

But Edinburgh insists on a single deal for all incoming pupils.

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