Thursday, 13 November 2008

Support Staff or Free Meals? That is the Question

According to Albert Henderson the head of schools for Inverclyde council that is the stark decision he will have to make. He cannot fully fund both if he is to meet the SNP's free school meals for all P1-3 pupils under the current budget he is facing. He told the education committee at Holyrood yesterday that there was £368,000, over and above the extra resourses made available, he would need to find to implement the scheme:

"If you were converting that into teaching staff, we're talking about ten teaching staff, so we may be faced with stark choices. We might be faced with staff shortages and that might mean looking at support staff."

The SNP can keep coming up with grand schemes but they have to also be affordable to the people at the delivery end of the scheme. If the Government is holding the purse strings, as with expenditure by local councils, they need to be willing to spend to allow their own multiple targets to be met.

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