Time to put issue of parent-funded teachers to bed

It was perhaps understandable for some parents of pupils at Melrose Primary School to think laterally when learning that they would have 13, not the current 14, teachers next session, despite the school role remaining the same.

But the suggestion, picked up by the national media, that parents could fundraise the required £30,000 to plug the gap is neither practical nor morally acceptable.

It is little wonder therefore that, as reported on page 3, some councillors are angry that the request made at a recent meeting of parents to explore this option is being considered by education director Glenn Rodger.

Both he and George Turnbull, councillor with special responsibility for education, should have dismissed it out of hand.

While it is wrong to generalise, there are without doubt some school communities with a more affluent parent-base than others with, quite possibly, the capability of finding the cash to pay for extra teachers.

Such iniquity in our state education system can surely not be countenanced and would merely widen, rather than reduce, the divisions which already exist across our communities.

Certainly, it will not be countenanced by the left-leaning SNP Government whose education minister Mike Russell has already said parent-employed teachers is “a bad track to go down”.

Councillors have the chance to put the issue to bed today.

They should take that opportunity and move on to finding practical ways to improve education in these challenging times.