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Scotland - Pens and paper on the parents

Schools, and particularly primaries, in Scotland are becoming increasingly reliant on parents to raise funds for essential equipment, heads have warned.

Irene Matier, president of the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland, said members were predicting that they would soon have to ask children to bring in their own paper, pens and pencils because their budgets are getting so tight.

Primary heads have also warned that they fear the situation could get worse as Scottish councils face funding cuts next year.

A survey of parent councils and parent-teacher associations has revealed that one body expects to have to raise #163;19,000 in a year; in one large urban secondary, the figure was #163;10,000.

Eileen Prior, executive director of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, which carried out the survey, said that play, IT and sports equipment were the major areas of spending for parent fundraisers.

"You would be forgiven for thinking these are more traditional areas of core funding by local authorities," she said.

In primary schools, the provision of IT equipment, including interactive whiteboards and items such as printer cartridges and replacement printers, is often down to parents' fundraising activities, Mrs Matier added. EB.

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