Budgetary pressures

30th November 2007 at 00:00
Christine Pollock, president of the Association of Directors of Education, gave a cautious welcome to the new Government's initiatives on free school meals, the increased availability of public health nurses in schools, increased opportunities for outdoor education and increased nursery provision.

But she warned that the introduction of a presumption against the closure of rural schools would leave councils "between a rock and a hard place.

Individuals and groups who oppose school closures and amalgamations will now be in possession of a powerful legal weapon," she said. "As local government officers, we are torn between a respect for and an appreciation of the value of keeping things local, and the need to live within budgets and provide facilities."

One solution, she said, might be for the Scottish Government to provide additional annual funding where legislation is invoked to keep schools open when a local authority has proposed closure or amalgamation.

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