Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Cuts uproar spreads across the Highlands

Demonstrations are planned for Thursday morning at the Highland Council's cuts meeting - Glenurquhart Road, 10th February
Parents in Nairn are not the only ones outraged by the cuts proposed to primary and nursery education in the Highlands. The Scotsman reports:
"A 100-strong group from the Staffin and Kilmuir schools, which together have 53 pupils, lobbied councillors at a meeting in Portree and also plan to demonstrate at Highland Council on Thursday when budget cuts will be discussed." More information here.
"It is believed other parents from across Inverness will keep their children at home on Thursday when Highland Council meets to determine budget cuts, including cutting 344 classroom assistant jobs. The Friends of Brora School, the parent council of Brora Primary School, also voiced its concerns."
News from further North too where parents are also campaigning against the cuts:
"The proposal, which could result in over 300 classroom assistants in primary schools being made redundant across the Highlands, was criticised by a Thurso mother who claimed it would impact on local pupils and teachers.
Lesley Wilson and other members of Pennyland Primary's parent council are to contact Caithness councillors on the controversial issue before a decision is made at a meeting in Inverness next week."
More in the John O' Groat Journal.
On Facebook over 200 demonstrators trying to save the Plockton National School of Traditional Musical have pledged to attend the meeting too. They will be there from 09.30 onwards and many of them will be taking instruments for a "session" against the cuts.
No doubt many others will be making their way to Glenurquhart Road on Thursday as well. It is one thing talking about cuts, now as the Council prepares to do the dirty deed. Will the LibDems, Labour and Independent members all be able to go through with it in the face of protests on the day and no doubt red hot phones and e-mail boxes at home?


Anonymous said...

Ironic that we should be treated to such a fanfare with the announcement of the new University for the Highlands and Islands, providing higher education within the region, and yet with education cuts lower down the system will our young people ever make the grades to attain a UHI place?
UHI has cost and will cost an absolute fortune, and has emerged from a headlining remote learning resource to very expensive bricks and mortar.
It might well mean that some young people complete their education within the area, but then what? Migration in order to get a job
UHI was a fine idea, but is it one we can sustain in this economic environment?

Anonymous said...

Was the consultation process a sham?
How many people submitted a request to sack all the classroom assistants?

Do they have to go to protect the big salaries (100K+) in Inverness?

Anonymous said...

Just look at any of the UHI Students of the Year and you will see how important this institution is to the area and the people who want to study here, or can't afford to study elsewhere.

We need institutions like UHI to help foster the environment where the industries of the future can develop so the Highlands can be a place of new employment opportunities.

And the funding that UHI attracts would otherwise be spent on central belt and east coast institutions, further promoting the traditional drain of youth, talent and jobs.