FIFE COUNCIL’S decision to devolve school budgets has been deemed “educationally unsound” by a teachers’ union.

The Fife branch of EIS say the new policy is “bad for parents, bad for members, bad for schools and bad for kids.”

The ‘Managing Change’ policy is about schools having more control over their own budget allocation and using staffing budget to best suit particular needs of their school.

The council says the policy has been through a lengthy consultation and believe it will not have a negative impact on pupils, parents or teachers.

But David Farmer, publicity officer for Fife EIS, said: “Fife EIS Executive has resolved to declare a failure to agree in respect of the Managing Change proposal on secondary staffing put forward by the education service.

“Our view that this proposal is educationally unsound and has a detrimental effect on teacher workload, recruitment, career progression, curricular choice and behaviour management remains undiluted.

“In this proposal where prompted posts are ‘deleted’, there will be no deletion of the workload and responsibilities attached to those posts: other teachers will have to pick that up.

“This is bad for our members, bad for parents, bad for our schools and the students in those schools.

“We hope, even at this late stage, that common sense might prevail and that our declaration might enable a resolution. We hope the education service will engage with us to discuss possible solutions. That said, no-one, given recent events, should be in any doubt about the determination, the resilience and the resolve of Scottish teachers.”

The Managing Change policy is a response to budget challenges. Education said they are required to make savings although they will do this over time.

Shelagh McLean, the council’s head of education, said: “It’s important to understand that we have been through a lengthy consultation process with teachers and trades unions. The proposals now being implemented have been developed within each school, by teachers, school management teams and the trade unions – they are not educationally unsound.

“The management responsibilities associated with existing promoted posts are being considered fully and, where appropriate, will be undertaken through the promoted posts within the new structures.

“These posts will be sized and salaried, in line with national guidelines, according to the new responsibilities attached to each post. We do not believe the new structures will have a negative impact on pupils, parents or our teachers.”