The Gurn has received a copy of a letter sent by one of the concerned parents at Millbank:
I am writing to you as I heard some very troubling news last night regarding proposed cuts to the ASN unit at Millbank primary school in Nairn. My non verbal autistic son is due to start there in August.
Over the past few months I’ve visited the unit and witnessed firsthand what an incredible job the teachers do there, despite the fact that they are already stretched to the limit, In fact if anything, they need MORE support, not less. These proposed cuts would lead to our chicken no longer being able to spend time with their peers in the mainstream classes (where appropriate). It would also mean a significant reduction in class outings (such as swimming) and class trips.
Cutting funds in an already struggling environment will ultimately have a severe effect on our children’s safety and well-being. They all require one to one support at all times and I can’t see HOW on earth the unit could function adequately and safely if these cuts go ahead.
I cannot understand how the Highland Council can justify such action. I would like to ask them this - WHY do our children with additional support needs not deserve the same level of education and support as mainstream school pupils?
XXXXX XXXXXX (a very concerned parent)
Cllr Paul Oldham responded to a Gurn request for comment this morning:
"I, and other ward councillors, have had many emails about this from parents yesterday. At the insistence of the SNP group ASN funding was protected in this year's budget but it's officers who decide where that money is spent, not councillors, so I would suggest that parents contact Nicky Grant <firstname.lastname@example.org>, who is the ECO for Education & Learning at Highland Council as she's ultimately responsible for these decisions and should be able to explain why this is happening."
Surely councillors have to approve budgets? Lead the direction of the council and its employees?
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