Angry parents call for reinstatement of full additional support needs staffing at Grantown Primary School
FURIOUS parents are seeking a private meeting with the head of education in the Highlands over "devastating" cuts to additional support needs staff in Grantown.
It has emerged that one of two additional support needs (ASN) teachers at Grantown Primary School is being moved to Aviemore.
The move is being blamed on Highland Council’s decision to cut 40 per cent of the school’s ASN allocation by reducing cover from full time to three days a week.
Parents at Grantown Primary School parents said the move was an "immense shock", coming as it did "less than a year after a recent inspection found a lack of confidence in the school" – a report parents said sparked promises by Highland Council to provide "additional support to the teaching team in Grantown Primary School".
"Therefore, the parent council are furious that the council’s response is to cut ASN support by 40 per cent within the school," said a member of the Friends of Grantown Primary.
"ASN staff are pivotal to the success of all our children in school, dedicating their working day to supporting pupils with additional needs, allowing other teachers to dedicate their time to the entire classroom, ensuring all children are in a position to learn.
"The result of this devastating cut will be catastrophic to all pupils, not just those who need some extra help, because classroom teachers will now be expected to take on the extra responsibility, previously undertaken by the ASN staff, which will have a direct negative impact on the classroom.
"Grantown Primary School Parent Council has requested a private meeting with Dr James Vance, interim Head of Education for Highland Council to express their distress and disgust at the council’s step and to seek assurances that this will be reversed prior to the new school year."
The Friends are urging supporters to protest the cut by signing the petition at their Facebook page and writing to local MSPs and Highland councillors.
Meanwhile some threatened education workers have accused the local authority of keeping them in the dark.
Around 50 people took their concerns about the service changes to council headquarters in Inverness on Thursday. The council said it had been working closely with staff, trade unions and others to see how best to meet ASN provision.