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Highland Council cuts to additional support needs (ASN) provision prompt petition and ‘peaceful demonstrations’ in Ullapool and across region

By Andrew Dixon

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A PETITION has been launched calling on all levels of policy makers from MPs and MSPs, to councillors and the general public to demand a “halt” to Highland Council cuts to additional support needs (ASN) provision to help school pupils.

The Highland Action Group for ASN and Education group is demanding that no cuts take place “without a full and transparent equality impact assessment and full consultation with the public”.

The group stated: “We are calling on the Scottish Government, local councillors, MSPs, MPs and people of the Highlands to use any powers they have to halt the Highland Council's proposed budget cuts to educational support services.”

The group is also organising four protests in Ullapool, Inverness, Fort William and Wick for June 27.

Some organisers have said they will be attending the “peaceful demonstration” with their children so they can make their voices heard too.

The group has been left incensed by a move to cutback ASN provision in the region which was passed by the council in February’s annual budget.

Last month, the council revealed that there would be “minimal impact” by the removal of around 60 pupil support assistants positions in a bid to streamline the service which many parents feel will only undermine it – something the council denies.

Related article: Highland Council vows to cut 'far fewer pupil support assistant posts than originally expected'

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