Budget raid feared to pay rise

16th October 1998 at 01:00
EDINBURGH schools ferreted away Pounds 1 million in their devolved budgets last year, the city's education convener revealed at last week's education committee.

Elizabeth Maginnis was opposing an Educational Institute of Scotland motion criticising council moves to claw back cash from schools to offset the higher than expected teachers' salary increase.

The council budgeted for a 2.5 per cent rise and is likely to fund the full 3 per cent award by raiding school budgets.

Mrs Maginnis said no decision had been taken but emphasised around Pounds 500,000 would make up the difference. Schools, she implied, could easily absorb the extra because of their reluctance to spend their full allocations. But George Rubienski, teachers' spokesman, warned that devolved budgets had been cut last year by 0.5 per cent for the same reason.

To impose a similar cut this year was the equivalent of every secondary axing one full-time post. Mr Rubienski appealed for the administration to fund the pay gap centrally.

"So much for devolved school management. How can schools plan?" he protested.

Mr Rubienski said: "From the school perspective, more and more demands are coming from the Government but there are more and more attacks on teachers. I warm to political parties that talk about change from the bottom up."

Parents had been misled over the Labour administration's claim of no cuts in mainstream education. "I do not deny money has been put into education but it's in there for specific purposes to deliver particular reforms. If we are going to remove money with the other hand, it is going to affect developments, " he said.

Mrs Maginnis accused him of "grandstanding". Some Pounds 10 million extra had gone into education and every school had benefited. Paul Williamson, vice-convener, said schools had had a 6 per cent rise. Keith Geddes, the council's leader, said schools had doubled spending on books and materials.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today