Damaging cuts to school budgets will do nothing to curb escalating violence and aggression in “pressure cooker” classrooms, Fife councillors have been warned.
A letter from the Fife branch of the EIS union to councillors asked them to back its campaign against slashing secondary school spending by £266,000 this year which is expected to result in the loss of up to 25 promoted posts. More cuts are expected next year.
Spokesman David Farmer said the union had grave concerns that reduced budgets would do irreversible harm to the curriculum and raising attainment, as well as recruitment and retention and pupil behaviour and relationships.
He told councillors: “Specialist behaviour support staff who have left the service in recent years have simply not been replaced.
“This has, in conjunction with ever decreasing school budgets and overall declining resources, resulted in schools becoming ‘pressure cookers’ where violent incidents are not isolated events but everyday occurrences.”
A response issued by council co-leaders David Alexander and David Ross said: “The council has had its funding significantly reduced in real terms over the past five years.
“It is estimated that we will have to make another £9 million in savings this coming year because of further reductions in funding.”
They added: “We encourage staff to record all physical incidents and, separately, regularly seek the views of our staff on a range of matters including behaviour in schools.”