North Ayrshire Council issue incorrect statement on school let charging policy
It has been confirmed that North Ayrshire Council issued a statement which contained incorrect information in response to an enquiry about how much Kilwinning Academy was charged to hire their own hall for their school show.
In response to a question by Kilwinning Councillor Joe Cullinane at the Council meeting on 4th November it was stated that schools are charged to hire their halls and music departments outwith school hours but the money is then credited back into the schools budget. This information was repeated in a statement issued to local papers.
It has now been confirmed that the charges are not credited back and are instead transferred into a “cost centre” managed by the Education department. Any surplus left in the “cost centre” after costs and the council's ‘savings target’ may be redistributed back to schools but this is not guaranteed.
Councillor Cullinane has called on schools and their parent councils to be given use of their schools facilities free of charge in a move which he says will stop money being taken away from pupils education.
Speaking about the issue Councillor Cullinane said;
“I knew that Kilwinning Academy had not been ‘credited’ with the amount charged for hiring their own hall and music department for their school show and I am disappointed that this inaccurate information was issued by the council.”
“The facts are that Kilwinning Academy were charged £933 to use their own school hall to put on their production of Grease and that is simply wrong. It is taking money directly out of the school budget and therefore from young people's education."
“This isn't an issue that just affects Kilwinning Academy, it affects every school and it needs to be addressed.”
“The council talk about schools playing a greater role in their communities but these charges are a barrier to that. They are also a barrier to schools offering pupils extra-curricular opportunities.”
“We are being promised that the letting charge policy is being reviewed and I have formally written to make a proposal – why doesn't the Council simply allow schools and their parent councils to use their own schools facilities fee of charge. That is only fair and doesn't take money away from pupils education which happens with the crazy, over-complicated current system.”