The last three councils to settle their budgets have trimmed Pounds 3. 8 million off education services. Some Pounds 82m has now been cut from education spending in the 32 councils (TESS, March 8).
In East Lothian, the budget has been set at Pounds 44 million. This represents a saving of Pounds 1.76 million, or 4 per cent. Total council spending has been cut by a similar figure. Some Pounds 500,000 will be saved by freezing vacancies and Pounds 200,000 raised by generating new income. Staff development has been trimmed.
In Perthshire and Kinross, the budget is Pounds 54.5m. Cuts total Pounds 1.8m, or under 4 per cent. Total council cuts come to 11 per cent. Two major areas are cuts in foreign student provision and grants to voluntary organisations funded through the community education service.
Shetland has set an education budget of Pounds 24m. The repairs and renewals budget has been raided to offset a Pounds 750,000 deficit. This represents a standstill budget after cuts in the past two years totalling 8.2 per cent, although officials are reviewing school transport.