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Thursday, 9 May, 2002, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Councils diverting McCrone funds
Teacher in class
McCrone paved the way for teachers to get more money
Cash given to Scottish councils to pay for the implementation of the McCrone deal on teachers' pay is being spent in other areas, BBC Scotland has learned.

Some 800m was set aside by the Scottish Executive to pay for McCrone over three years.

But now it has emerged that some councils, like East Lothian, have been diverting those funds to other areas, like social work.

Education Minister Cathy Jamieson said the executive cannot guarantee the McCrone money it is giving to councils will actually be spent on education.

Cathy Jamieson
Cathy Jamieson said the deal is still on track

However, the minister said the changes envisaged by McCrone are still on course and that she expects all sides to deliver on the deal.

She said: "This was a tri-partite agreement between ourselves, Cosla and the teaching unions and there's a responsibility on all parties now to ensure that the McCrone settlement is delivered.

"It is a process, it's not something that is going to happen as a one-off event."

Professor Gavin McCrone recommended that teachers be given a substantial pay rise in return for adopting more flexible work practices.

Part of the agreement between the unions and the authorities was also meant to ensure that more support was offered to teachers.

Liz Morris, an EIS representative in East Lothian, said she was concerned the council's budgetary moves means jobs are under threat.

Professor Gavin McCrone
Professor Gavin McCrone's recommendations cost 800m

"The effect on the ground is that some temporary staff who have been employed in administrative sections of the schools will loose their jobs," she said.

"Basically there is no money to finance them. It will most certainly delay the implementation of McCrone in East Lothian."

East Lothian Council has diverted 306,000 of the 512,000 McCrone funds it received this financial year to its social work children and families fund.

This means the council is spending just 206,000, or 40% of the allocation, on the purpose for which it was intended.

There is no legal requirement on the council to spend the money on the McCrone deal, and it has defended its actions by saying it is taking an "holistic" approach to education.

The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association (SSTA) claims other councils are similarly raiding the McCrone money.

David Eaglesham
David Eaglesham warned councils are undermining goodwill

SSTA General Secretary David Eaglesham said: "We certainly have evidence from some authorities that this is beginning to become a problem, but I think the most obvious incident so far is this one in East Lothian where they have been very clear about what they have done."

Glasgow City Council, which is Scotland's largest education authority, said it is not yet sure how it is going to pay for all the changes.

In Dundee the council has been accused of reneging on the deal, and in North Lanarkshire some teachers have threatened to strike over a 35-hour working week.

Mr Eaglesham added "there will be considerable resentment among the teaching profession and, I am sure, among parents and pupils" if not all of the McCrone changes are implemented.

Education correspondent Martha Fairlie
"The council insists it has done nothing wrong"
BBC Scotland's Ken Macdonald reports
"Teachers voted for more flexible working, in return they got a big pay rise"
See also:

07 May 02 | Scotland
28 Apr 02 | Scotland
21 Dec 01 | Scotland
13 Sep 01 | Scotland
12 Jan 01 | Scotland
12 Jan 01 | Scotland
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