School cost cutting plans

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THE council wants to slim down services it provides to schools to help plug a £2.5 million hole in the education budget.

Slashing education welfare advice, careers advice, school improvement guidance and voluntary sector support could save £2 million.

As schools become increasingly autonomous, they can buy these services from other sources.

In addition, the council faces a reduction in funding for school services as more opt to become academies.

Calderdale Council’s children’s services spokeswoman Coun Megan Swift said the proposed changes would have a far-reaching effect.

“We are facing a £2.5million overspend in the current financial year and we have to cut our cloth accordingly.

“But this does not mean that anyone has not been doing their job well.

“It is just that the world is changing and we must ensure that council services adapt and change so that our children continue to do well,” she said.

Lifelong learning spokesman Coun Ashley Evans said there would be full consultation before any decisions were made.

“The Government wants to give schools more responsibility for the way they commission services and the council needs to respond to this rapid change,” he said. Meanwhile it has been revealed two more Calderdale schools will become academies in January.

They are Siddal Primary, in Halifax, and Luddenden Foot Junior and Infant School.

Their conversion brings the total number of academies in Calderdale to 17.

All of those that have completed the process so far are schools rated as good or outstanding by the Office for Standards in Education.

Ryburn Valley High, at Sowerby, and Crossley Heath School, Halifax, are among the schools in the conversion pipeline.