Parents have launched a campaign to try to save a much loved support worker from being removed from a Fife school.
Family support worker Tracy McCallum’s role at Southwood Primary School in the Macedonia area of Glenrothes will come to an end later this month after five years.
Her role, originally a three-year post but extended a further two years following lobbying from the school, is to go because of a cut in external funding.
Ms McCallum will be redeployed to another Fife Council role.
The much loved support worker has helped scores of families and children in one of Fife’s most challenged communities.
The news she is to leave has caused dismay among many parents who have vowed to fight to keep Tracy at the school.
A petition set up less than a week ago already has 165 signatures while Southwood Parents Group have vowed to lobby education chiefs to reverse the decision.
‘An absolute travesty’
Corrie Simpson, whose grandchildren attend the school and who started the petition, said the decision would be a huge loss, not just to the school but the whole community.
She said: “As we come out of a year-long pandemic the school, the parents and most importantly he children need Tracy more than ever.
“It’s impossible to over estimate the impact Tracy’s work has had over the last five years and to see that end would be an absolute travesty.
“She has supported a great many families, many who have faced difficult and challenging circumstances, and to see that work lost has upset a great many people connected with the school.”
Parents voice their dismay
Parent Tom McPherson said it was vital that Tracy was retained at the school and has urged Fife Council to find the funding to keep her position open.
“It does not make sense to lose all that has been built up and achieved,” he said.
“It would be a massive loss to see her leave.”
A letter seen by The Courier from head teacher, Victoria Cobbett, informing parents of the situation, said: “We have been extremely fortunate to have been allowed to have Tracy as part of our staff since April 2016.
“Tracy’s permanent post is as a family support worker for the family support service and as such was ‘on loan’ to the school with us paying her salary through external funding.
“Unfortunately the service are no longer able to meet their service needs without Tracy and I am very sad to say that she will leave at the end of the next school session.”
A temporary arrangement
Responding to the parent’s calls, Fife Council education manager Rona Weir said: “The family support worker currently at the school has been working at Southwood on a secondment from their usual, substantive post.
“This temporary arrangement has now come to an end.
“However, the strategic work already carried out will have an ongoing positive impact on the school and the wider school community.
“The headteacher is currently exploring other ways that this funding can be used to benefit children and families.”