LABOUR MSP Alex Rowley is calling for a rethink on school budget cuts which he warns would have a "detrimental impact" on frontline education.

The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP raised the issue in the Scottish Parliament when he asked the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, what support the Scottish Government could give to secondary school teachers being asked to make hundreds of thousands of pounds of savings.

He was told the Scottish Government was making an additional £10 million available direct to Fife schools as well as an increase of £8.8million in the council budget.

“The education of children is the greatest gift that one generation can pass on to another and never has education been so crucial for access opportunities and work," he said. 

"I find it unacceptable that high schools across Fife are being told they will have to cut hundreds of thousands of pounds out of their budgets this year and I cannot see how they can do this without having a detrimental impact on frontline education.

“I am asking Fife Council to explain why they are making these unacceptable levels of cuts to frontline education at a time when we are being told there is more money available for education. 

"We also have a situation where frontline office staff in the primary schools have been put on 90 day notices with their jobs either changing or going. This will just put even more work onto overworked teachers."

The Labour politician has written to the Executive Director of Education and the joint leaders of Fife Council asking them to reconsider the cuts.

Head of Education and Children's Services, Shelagh McLean, said they were facing budget challenges and, like every other service across the council, are required to make savings. 

"We do this in a managed way over time and this is the result of vacancy management and other efficiency savings," she said. "As always our focus is on the best possible outcomes for children and young people and their future life chances."

Last week, Conservative councillor Tony Miklinski raised a motion at a full meeting of Fife Council in which he urged fellow members to axe plans which could lead to the removal of office staff in Fife’s schools.

As reported in the Press, he asked councillors to agree that measures to “remove or dilute” key admin or secretarial staff was “ill conceived and will inflict disproportionate damage on hard pressed schools.”