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Councils are pushing parents to the sidelines

We at the Scottish Parent Teacher Council have been concerned for some time that the financial pressures on local authorities are leading to direct reductions in services for children in schools ("Latest cuts could `lead to lost generation' ", News, 3 July).

Parents continue to tell us that councils are making decisions on cuts to services with little or no consultation, or very poor quality communication. The way in which authorities have presented information to the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee illustrates how difficult it is to get hold of comparable, intelligible figures that make it clear how money is being spent.

It is clear to us and our parent members that local authorities are often not communicating transparently and effectively with parents about the financial realities they are facing, or the options being explored. Parents inform us of direct reductions in services for children in schools, and we ourselves continue to see a "salami slicing" approach being taken.

In reality, parents know that councils are facing difficult choices - families are, too. However, they should be involved in the discussion around setting priorities and reshaping services for their children, not relegated to the role of spectator in an increasingly desperate attempt to slice and dice services.

Eileen Prior

Executive director, Scottish Parent Teacher Council

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Letters for publication in TESS should arrive by 10am Monday. Send your letters, ideally of no more than 250 words in length, including contact address and phone number, by email to Letters may be edited

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