Glasgow & West Scotland

West Dunbartonshire Council U-turn over school week cut

Primary class Image copyright PA
Image caption The plan was for the school day to be cut to save money

West Dunbartonshire Council has withdrawn its plan to cut two-and-a-half hours from the primary school week in a bid to save about £1m.

The plan, which was to have been phased in from August, had been branded "a disgrace" by some parents.

Convener of educational services, Councillor Michelle McGinty, said it was not the best policy to address the funding problems.

She said she recognised the uncertainty and concern among the community.

The cut would have affected time for things like "golden time" and assemblies.

The council had said teaching time with the regular class teacher would remain protected.

A consultation suggested options such as an early daily finish or early finish on Fridays.

'Sorry for concern'

Labour-run West Dunbartonshire Council is looking to make £17m of savings over the next three years.

Ms McGinty said: "I would like to announce the immediate removal of the policy to change the school week.

"This was not the best policy to address our reduced funding from government and we are sorry for the concern this has caused to our parents and residents."

She added: "We had listened to the parents during the consultation on this proposal. They had raised concerns mainly around childcare and we had plans in place to help with those concerns - we put extra funding into providing for breakfast clubs.

"However, we recognise the uncertainty and concern among the community and genuine fears parents have about their children's education.

"We wish to remove doubt and uncertainty immediately and we will find other ways to balance the budget."

EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan welcomed the "very swift U-turn on its poorly thought-out proposal".

Mr Flanagan said: "This should also act as a stark warning to other local authorities who are considering similar cuts to children's education. T

"The very clear message is that this type of attack will be resisted - and resisted strongly - by all those with an interest in protecting young people's learning."

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