Isle of Skye parents to protest against cuts to additional classroom support

Some parents are going to take their children out of school for the demonstration

Parents on Skye are to stage a “peaceful protest” next Monday in opposition to cuts to additional support needs services in the school and across the Highlands.

The protest in Broadford objects to moves the council is proposing for support staff and the redeployment of specialist teachers.

Highland Council recently set out its plans for cuts in additional support for schools, which it says can be made without major job losses.

But in the juggling of resources it has emerged that the council will make savings by redeploying learning support teachers to fill vacant classroom teaching posts.

It is understood the cuts are also likely to further reduce or remove travelling teachers delivering lessons in subjects such as PE.

At tomorrow’s (Thursday 27th June) meeting of the full Highland Council councillors will be asked to embrace the authority’s “change strategy”.

This includes “integrating services by maximising the deployment of specialist teachers to support mainstream teaching staff”, which will save £5.9 million over the next three years.

Some £9 million worth of cuts to additional support needs education, early intervention, specialist teaching and associated support services were approved in Highland Council’s most recent budget.

The local authority have said only one per cent of its 1100 pupil support assistants will be required to move into new roles – fewer than they had originally expected, but their savings could instead be achieved by not filling around 50 PSA posts currently vacant in the region.

The Broadford Primary School Parent Council are inviting all community, parents and children in the Skye and Lochalsh area to come along to protest on the “MUGA” pitch, by the school, on Monday (1st July) from 9 to 10.30am.