Parents claim school is being discriminated against
Published 11 Aug 2012 09:20 8 Comments
ANGRY parents claim St John's Primary is being "unfairly discriminated against" in their fight to reinstate a depute headteacher's position at the school.
Last month, the Press reported that St John's Parent Group is furious over Fife Council's decision to axe the post because the school roll is too small to justify having one.
Mums and dads fear the decision will have a negative effect on kids' education and that pupils won't be able to enjoy as many out-of-school activities.
The group has previously accused the council of "moving the goalposts" and launched a 'Save St John's Depute Headteacher!' petition online at ipetitions.com.
It now claims St John's is being made to carry the can, saying, "Looking at the recent budget report for Fife Council for 2012, it appears that the education budget is being cut by £259,000.
"St John's is being made to bear one-fifth of these cuts, which are for the whole of Fife."
The group also hit out at comments said to be made by area education officer Donna Manson.
It said, "The group were puzzled by a recent statement ... in relation to St John's Primary, that 'most of the pupils come from Rosyth and that schools working in more challenging communities are receiving more management time".
"King's Road Primary School, which is approximately 200 yards from St John's and covers the same catchment area, is deemed to be in a more challenging community and is therefore gaining an extra depute headteacher (DHT).
"We are also aware of other local schools, who have a similar school roll but who are not having to endure the same cuts as St John's.
"Some of these schools already had two DHTs and are losing one position. This will still leave them with a DHT.
"We therefore feel that St John's is being unfairly discriminated against."
Other statements disputed were that the school had low free school meal entitlement, no pupils with additional support needs and no nursery pupils were given as reasons to why the school was losing the post.
The group argued, "Contrary to Ms Manson's statement, St John's does indeed have pupils with additional support needs that attend the school, so we disagree with this as one of the reasons given why St John's does not warrant a DHT.
"Historically St John's has never had a nursery. It seems somewhat strange to suddenly use this as a reason to axe a teaching position from a school."
"We have also been informed of a further cut to our teaching resources at assistant level."
Councillor Bryan Poole, executive member for education, children, young people and families explained, "A decision was taken through a previous budget to review the school management system with the aim of make savings and redirecting resources to the front line.
"The decision to replace the depute head teacher with a principal teacher at St Johns was a consequence of that budget decision.
"The priority of this administration is to maintain resources in the class room.
"I'm however aware that parents and some of the local councillors have concerns about this decision and therefore, I have, along with the council leader, reviewed that decision.
"We are satisfied that the principle of protecting frontline resources has been achieved."
Mr Poole added that he was "confident" that the new arrangement would have "no detrimental effect" on children's learning experience and has asked for a meeting with the parent council and head teacher in the new term.
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Aug 11, 16:29
It's hardly discrimination when many other schools find themselves in the same predicament. Fair enough, the other schools in the numbers-game are losing teaching staff rather than a DHT because staffing numbers are worked out using a 'computer says' formula rather than by the application of common sense. On the back of the ongoing Masterton farce, one would have assumed that consideration would be given to schools whose roll, whilst marginally down on session 2011-2012, will rise in due course as a result of house-building within their catchment. Apparently not, however.
Recommend? Yes 11 No 1
Aug 11, 18:56
Aug 12, 16:03
Aug 15, 09:47
Reading the article, it does appear to be quite unfair when looking at the budget cuts, if the figures are correct.
There are 19 High schools in Fife and 143 primary schools. If the education budget is being cut by £259k, then why is one school being subjected to a fifth of the cuts?
Recommend? Yes 12 No 2
Aug 15, 11:46
Really don't see what the difference is.
they've axed the position, but not a member of staff.
The responsibility is devolved among other members of staff, so as long as someone's doing the job, where's the problem ?
As far as comparing it to Kings road, and complaining of discrimination, what's the pupil roll of the two schools ?
I bet St Johns is much smaller. Indeed, I believe it to be smaller than Park Road and Camdean too.
Somebody's getting desperate and hoping the word "discrimination" suddenly gives them many more rights, or scares the council into giving in.
Wonder if they'd play the race card if they could ?
Ali G once said "is it because I is black ?".........
Is someone, somewhere thinking of saying "is it because I is catholic?"
It's not going to work, you know, you're no more special than the rest of us.
How about if you want the position, you all aply to have your houses revalued for council tax and pay the tax based on current values, rather than 1990 values, then Fife council can use that extra revenue to employ a depute ?
Didn't think so.............................
Recommend? Yes 11 No 9
Aug 15, 21:55
I'm up for houses being revalued as mine was valued before the bottom end fell out of the housing market. I think the valuers saw any new housing as a cash cow to be milked, nay bled dry. Maybe I'm due a rebate.... dream on.
Recommend? Yes 0 No 0
Aug 17, 10:38
Hmm, some of the negative comments on here are interesting! Is this good old religious intolerance? Could there be people in Fife who are anti-Catholic? Surely not! It's coincidence that the Catholic School gets reduced funding in Fife, of course it is!
Wonder what the make up of the people making these decisions are? Of course they aren't leaving themselves open to allegation of sectarianism, no, no, no. It's coincidence I'm sure!
Recommend? Yes 9 No 14
Aug 20, 01:17
I'm utterly shocked at some of the narrow minded comments on here, have any of you people ever left Fife for a short time to see what the rest of the world is all about. No didn't think so.....
Catholic or not at the end of the day there are clearly people in authority in this country who can't make good decisions for the life of them. There is an abundance of money being wasted by councils across the land including Fife. Why can't they see that if they don't invest in children's education and achievements and stop throwing money at people who can't be bothered working that they are setting us all up for a very unpleasant place to live. Stop all benefits (with exception of people who are genuinely unfit to do so) and there would be plenty of money to go around. Start and make people accountable for their actions. Its time that teachers/police/doctors got treated with the respect they deserve and authorities stopped scrimping on the things that matter
Recommend? Yes 2 No 0