Union leaders have warned that education cuts will be detrimental to services helping to secure “better futures” for children in the city.
Funding was slashed for a number of children’s services at this week’s budget as the local authority closed a £41million black hole in its budget.
This includes a £275,000 cut to youth work, £50,000 cut for youth drugs diversion and another £150,00 from reducing education support provision.
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There will also be a £200,000 reduction in education psychologist provision and the council expects to save a further £150,000 from removing the cap on primary one class sizes.
UNISON official Kenny Luke hit out at the plans and said: “These cuts will affect vulnerable people. This is taking money out of services which secure better futures for our kids.
“The council needs to recognise the valuable part it plays in diverting young people from harm, and managing schools.”
Scottish Government guidelines state that primary one classes should not exceed 25 pupils and a cap of 18 had been put in place.
The council’s education convener John Wheeler said there was a “strong body of research” that smaller class sizes don’t lead to better outcomes for pupils.
But last night Ron Constable, the EIS teaching union secretary in the city, said: “If a child sees an educational psychologist and is diagnosed then we have all sorts of other funding we can tap into to help them.
“I just don’t get removing the facility to even recruit them.
“The EIS is trying to lower class sizes rather than increase them.
“It is always trotted out that class sizes don’t affect attainment but if you look at what private schools like Robert Gordon’s College say they sell themselves on lower class sizes.
“Someone, somewhere must have made a decision to put in a cap and thought that was a good idea.”
And opposition SNP group leader Stephen Flynn said: “The SNP group did not support this terrible cut or indeed the farcical changes to primary one class sizes and I am so disappointed that the Tories opted not to listen.”
Mr Wheeler said: “For all these savings, they were brought forward on the understanding that they wouldn’t have a detrimental impact on each service.
“My interactions with teachers and head teachers has been that they don’t feel that there is a correlation between class sizes and outcomes.”