Luan has sent the Gurn a copy of a letter she has sent to MSPs. Luan is deeply concerned about proposed cuts to Eduction in the Highland Council area that have been reported in the local media.
She told us: "This is my email to MSPs
I am writing to you to ask what you will do for our children’s education in Highland? There is no time to waste and this needs cross party action. Every parent in the Highlands will be worried about the news of massive cuts to education & will be looking to you to stand up for our children.
“The Administration is finalising the proposals for the budget meeting on February 15. These do not yet close the estimated budget gap of £25.8m, but there are a number that will impact on schools, including:
“Reduction, in Additional Support for Learning in schools. This will involve significant reductions in the number of PSAs (Pupil Support Assistants) and ASN (Assistant Special Needs) teachers.
“Reduction in special additional support services. This is likely to impact in educational psychology, behaviour support, English as an additional language, interrupted learning, autism, assistive technology, and pre-school support services.
“Reduced teacher staffing in medium sized and larger secondary schools, involving around 40 posts.”
These cuts must be stopped. There are other areas to save money and these must be investigated, any cuts to education are bad but the impact of the cuts proposed by Highland Council will be hugely detrimental to our educators and to children and their future.
Whether your child has additional needs or not this will be detrimental to their education. This will have a huge impact on the learning of all children in Highland, and especially for the outcomes for the most disadvantaged children, who need the most support - society benefits from early intervention, better life chances benefits all in terms of reducing crime & dependency, improving mental health & helping all children achieve their potential, as well as improving employment opportunities. What you put in you get back.
Teacher stress will increase because they don’t get the support they need, they’ll spend less time teaching and more time managing behaviour, there will be more exclusion of disruptive children - which will significantly impact their chances in life. Stress causes ill health and absences. Even the most able, well adjusted and academically achieving children will suffer, as their teachers will be too busy trying to deal with disruptive behaviour instead of ensuring all children reach their potential. Our children are an investment for the future, early intervention has a huge influence in their development, education and life chances. Everyone who cares should be fighting these cuts every step of the way.
I speak as a parent of a ‘neuro-typical’ child & of an autistic child - I know for a fact that the level of support my autistic child has received, especially in terms of early intervention has helped him access mainstream school & allowed teachers to concentrate on teaching.
I await your response and strongly believe there will be protests across the Highlands at the threat of these cuts. I don’t want to hear blame, I want to hear what you will all do for all of our children now.
Luan is calling for a good turnout at the meeting of the Nairn Academy Parent Council on Tuesday night.