Parents asked to donate paper at cash-strapped Aberdeen school

Mile End School
Mile End School

Parents at a cash-strapped Aberdeen primary school have been asked to donate paper, sticky tape, toys and tissues after being warned of “significant changes” ahead.

And bosses at Mile End will also sell off a school mini-bus and stop investing in textbooks and computer equipment to balance the books.

The second vehicle will only be retained if fundraising can cover the running costs.

From the start of the new term, pupils will also be asked to provide their own stationery, while trips and events will have to be fully funded by parents and there will a strict limit on photocopying and colour printing.

Parents have also been asked to donate other essentials such as paper.

George Roberts, head teacher of the school, wrote to parents to break the “difficult news”, which he said was a consequence of the “significant savings” the council has been required to make in 2019-20.

The local authority made more than £41million of cuts and savings this year.

Mr Roberts confirmed the school had been spending around £80,000 on materials to support the day-to-day running of the school.

He said this had only been possible in the past because the school had the ability to move money from any underspend in its staffing budget.

However, any underspend is now automatically taken back from all council departments and put toward the “significant savings” the council needs to make.

In the email, Mr Roberts said: “This means that we have a limit of £15,400 to cover all material costs for the year.

“Things that we saw as core resources are no longer going to be available to us.”

Rob Polkinghorne, council chief operating officer, said: “It is important to underline that significant investment in education continues to be made in crucial areas.

“This includes school counselling, increased pupil support assistant provision, our innovative introduction of free school meals in holiday periods and through the major capital programme which is delivering new schools throughout the city.”

However, that explanation is unlikely to appease angry parents.