Malcolm on the impact of reductions in education spending in Edinburgh
Educaton: Reductions in education spending Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab): The cabinet secretary welcomed this week's statement by Councillor Marilyne MacLaren that there would be no further cuts to devolved school budgets in Edinburgh, but does she realise that there will still be significant reductions in education expenditure, including fewer teachers next year? How can we have smaller class sizes and fewer teachers?

Fiona Hyslop (The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning):
Malcolm Chisholm should pay close attention to the budget-setting discussions that will take place in the City of Edinburgh Council. It would be extremely surprising if there were reductions in the education budgets, and he should think carefully before making such accusations.

Education spend in Edinburgh is a matter for the council. Malcolm Chisholm would be best to engage with the council and, when the budget is set, pay attention to the levels of that spend. I do not anticipate any reduction in it. Indeed, in my answer to Wendy Alexander, I indicated that, in their provisional outturns, local authorities estimated a 5.5 per cent increase in the current year's budget. We can examine projections for next year as we move forward.
February 5th 2009, (Column 14803, 14804)