"A council has defended plans to cut costs by replacing teachers with `pre-school officers` in its nurseries, in the face of criticism from a union. An Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) petition has gathered hundreds of signatures against the move. It said Dumfries and Galloway Council had unilaterally decided on a cheaper alternative to qualified teachers."
"A spokesman for the authority said it was required by law to develop more `flexible` provision. The proposals were put forward as part of a string of plans to reduce spending across the council."
"A report estimated the authority could eventually cut spending by nearly £240,000 by transferring nursery teachers to primaries and replacing them with the pre-school officers. It proposed a pilot project starting in August at 10 schools which could then be rolled out across the region. However, it recognised that there could be a perception that `provision was being diminished`."
"The Dumfries and Galloway EIS petition said it was `outraged` at the move by the council."
"`At a stroke they decided that Dumfries and Galloway parents need childcare rather than nursery education, ignoring the clear benefits pre-school children derive from the structured educational provision provided by nursery teachers' input,` it said."
Consistency is not their strong point. What happened to GIRFEC and the importance of the early years?