Council leaders back transfer of resources to early years

30th August 1996 at 01:00
Scotland's education authorities have committed themselves collectively for the first time to a switch in resources from the secondary sector to early years education.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities' education forum agreed the policy at its meeting in Edinburgh last Friday. It covers pre-school and the first two years of primary.

Officials argue that investment will pay off in reduced bills for remediation of literacy and numeracy problems at the later school stages and in adult life.

Cosla, which is also seeking an increase in central government resources, said local authorities will have to take conscious decisions to invest in primary education. This has been a long-standing demand from primary heads who argue that council spending has unfairly favoured the secondary sector.

The convention has also backed extra resources for deprived areas where literacy and numeracy problems are at their most intractable.

The unspoken political agenda is that these moves will forge links between the pre-school and primary stages which will head off what Labour-controlled councils see as the threat of privatisation from nursery vouchers.

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