Support lost through cuts

18th February 2000 at 00:00
WITH regard to Perth and Kinross Council's proposed cuts in behaviour support, may I point out that the Alternatives to Exclusion funding which the Government has given to the council does not fund the same services.

The Alternatives to Exclusion funding supported the "Building Bridges", project which was set up in 1997 and focused on three schools in the city of Perth. It aimed to support pupils in primary 7 transferring to secondary school.

This project has now come to an end. The small amount of funding still available would only pay for a quarter of the teaching posts under threat if the behaviour support service is scrapped.

Perthand Kinross has no special units for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and has promoted a policy of inclusion through the work of its behaviour support staff. More funding is needed for this work which directly helps individual children, their teachers and other pupils in their classes.

As your editorial of February 11 points out, many councils are faced with difficulties because of central government guidelines and capping.

Perth and Kinross Council should lead a public campaign against these cuts, instead of looking for more and more services to dispense with.

George Paterson



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