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Pupils raise concerns over cuts to special-needs teaching

Youngsters who have personally benefited from the specialist service staged a two-hour protest.

Protest: Over cuts to special-needs teaching.
Protest: Over cuts to special-needs teaching.

School pupils have raised concerns about cuts to special-needs teaching in the Highlands.

Youngsters who have personally benefited from the specialist service staged a two-hour protest outside the council's Inverness headquarters on Friday afternoon.

The local authority aims to slash special needs funding by five-point-nine million pounds to help balance its books.

It's invited communities to discussions as part of a major revamp of the service.

Speaking during the protest outside the council building, Glen Urquhart High School S6 pupil Skye Hawkins said: "Support in schools is so vital to many of our students that if they're even cut slightly it would be drastic for the kids."

Fellow pupil Amiebeth Ross said: "We've needed it since we started and if we didn't have it most of us probably wouldn't have been able to attend school."

Highland Council Leader Margaret Davidson, who met the pupils during the demonstration, said: "I understand that they want to be sure that the children who come after them are going to get the same level of service. What we need to do is involve them, involve them in how we reorganise the service.

"We do believe that the service is needing reorganisation in the interests of fairness and equity, and in getting the best from the money available."

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