|Headteachers Express Fears Over Budget Cuts|
And urge councillors to oppose proposed cuts in Children's Services and Lifelong Learning
Roger Shortt of Hounslow's Education Improvement Partnership Facilitator, a group funded by head teachers, has expressed collective fears over proposed budget cuts.
In a letter to local Councillors, he states "I am writing as facilitator for primary, secondary and special school head teachers in Hounslow to express grave concerns regarding the proposed cuts package for education.
"We believe that this package is the direct result of the policy of 0% increase in council tax instigated by the majority party and its supporters. This policy is resulting in year on year cuts in council services.
"The cuts that concern schools most are those relating to the increase in costs to schools of services provided by the council. Without the support of these services schools would not be able to function effectively. We note the proposals to reduce the central funding for the Education Psychology Service and the Teaching Support Service – cuts in these areas will affect the most vulnerable of our children.
"In addition in terms of Lifelong Learning we are saddened to see the cuts in Adult Education course which are not directly funded by the LSC (Learning and Skills Council). Once again there would be a reduction in the work with vulnerable groups as well as cut in non-vocational courses that give pleasure often to our more elderly citizens.
"We believe that Hounslow residents value the services that they receive and in particular the excellent work of schools and we are convinced that an increase in council tax in order to avoid these cuts would be acceptable to residents."
On behalf of the head teachers, Mr Shortt is urging Councillors to oppose these proposals.
Councillor John Connelly said "I personally share these concerns and fear that the long-term future of many of the borough's children could be put at risk as a result of the ruling Executive's council tax obsession."
December 13, 2007