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Staff boost for Glasgow primaries

Glasgow has taken its first step in moving funding from secondary schools to early intervention strategies in primaries. The city's education committee last week decided that extra teachers should be allocated to schools on the basis of footwear and clothing grants, and not confined to areas of priority treatment.

Ninety-five primaries will gain staff and 95 will lose. In the secondary sector, 25 schools will lose and 12 will gain. Twelve posts will go in primary schools and 10 in secondaries. Ken Corsar, director of education, said that 40 per cent of parents sent children to schools outside their local area.

Primary schools will be eligible for extra staff when 30 per cent of pupils receive footwear and clothing grants. The threshold for secondaries will be 40 per cent. In the first year of the new formula, no school will lose or gain more than one member of staff. Half the formula will be based on the existing formula for areas of deprivation and half on the uptake of footwear and clothing grants. Willie Hart, teachers' representative on the committee, gave a guarded welcome but warned of an adverse effect in smaller primaries where losing one member of staff would have a greater impact.

Mr Corsar added: "Clearly there are some schools where the reaction is going to be 'this is dreadful'. Some schools will gain and some lose and we have tried to minimise that."

Peter Mullen, the Roman Catholic representative, said that when he was headteacher of the city's Holyrood Secondary 460 pupils were on footwear and clothing grants, yet the school would fail to meet the 40 per cent threshold. "The system is still flawed," he warned.

Schools will also be asked to reach attainment targets. Mr Corsar said: "Glasgow is among the highest spenders in the country on primary schools yet still we find children who are not achieving as well as they should do. "

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