Newtyle's pupil costs were Pounds 6,161 per head, as measured by the September 1995 census, against an Angus secondary average of Pounds 2,781 and a Scottish figure of Pounds 2,760. A primary school with 40 pupils would have a head and perhaps an assistant head, according to the council, while Newtyle had three full-time and eight part-time teachers.
In a classic battle of figures, Chris Roberts, a spokesman for the school board, told the education committee that retaining Newtyle would be a small price to pay. The Pounds 160,000 full-year saving represented a third of 1 per cent of the Pounds 48 million education budget, or Pounds 1.40 per head for council tax payers.
Critics also challenged the official view that children could lose out educationally. Richard Spiers, the Liberal Democrat councillor, said that Newtyle pupils attending Harris Academy did better on average than the rest of the school. One had become head boy and another head girl.