East Lothian Association of Parent Council Members (ELAPCM), met at John Muir House in Haddington on 24/3/08. One member from Law Primary sits on this group to engage in networking and to share best practice.
The remit of this group is to meet with the Head of Education and to discuss issues which are common to all schools e.g. efficiency savings. Each term there is a meeting which provides an opportunity for the Department to share information with parent council members, to consult on a range of subjects and to answer questions that parents might have. The main agenda item was “Efficiency Savings”.
The Education Department at ELC had to make a 6% efficiency saving over 3 years from 2008/09. This meant a 1.5% savings made within schools in the first year and a further 2.25% saving expected to be made in each of the next 2 years.
As a direct result of an active campaign by ELAPCM, in responding to the “You Pay Now Have Your Say” Consultation document on proposed cuts to the education budget,
East Lothian Council has responded favourably with a significant improvement in imposed efficiency savings. Instead of a 2.25% saving imposed on our schools, there is to be a 0.14% efficiency saving. This equates to around £1000 per Primary school which is a far cry from the original £16,000 proposed initially. The shortfall will be carried by East Lothian Council themselves in areas such as centre admin staff and ICT.
We are delighted with the outcome and feel optimistic that savings can be found within Law Primary which does not include loss of teaching staff. However, the budget has not yet been finalized for 2010/11. There has therefore been a budget strategy subgroup of ELAPCM set up to work towards minimizing the impact of more cuts.
The Education Director is asking Parent Councils to identify potential areas for future efficiency savings from the central education budget such as “Home to School Transport”.
We will endeavor to keep the parent forum informed of progress on these emotive issues.