Melrose parents can’t cough up for teacher

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IT is not the policy of Scottish Borders Council to allow parents to club together to the tune of £30,000 a year to provide a teacher for a local school where staffing has been reduced.

That was the unequivocal message from Tory councillor George Turnbull, executive member for education, in response to a question from his Lib Dem colleague John Paton-Day at last week’s council meeting.

Mr Paton-Day had already said he and his party group were opposed to parents at 340-pupil Melrose Primary, which will have its teaching establishment reduced from 14 to 13 next session, being able to fundraise to plug the gap.

Mr Turnbull told him: “It is not council policy. This has gained profile as a result of a meeting that director of education Glenn Rodger had with parents at the school. Mr Rodger was asked if he would consider parents funding a teacher ... he has told parents he will consider the request and respond to them formally in due course.”

Mr Turnbull added there could be no change in policy without full consideration by the council.