Scottish councils hit back at McConnell

Scottish local government groups have hit back at criticism by the
first minister Jack McConnell that they are not doing enough to
improve looked-after children’s education.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and Association of
Directors of Social Work said McConnell had “misrepresented” the
situation regarding councils not bidding for funding to support the
education of children in care in order to score a “cheap political

Last week, when announcing which bids had won a slice of the
£2m Scottish executive funding, McConnell castigated 14
councils that did not bid and said just seven of the 18 that did
were good enough to win grants. Councils needed to “raise their
level of ambition” for children in care and come up with “more
imaginative ideas”.

However, it has emerged that notification of the scheme was only
sent out to social work and education directors a week before the
deadline for bids and that only a two-page outline of the proposal
was required.

Anna Fowlie, Cosla’s children and families lead, said councils were
told bids did not have to be “well-developed” and detail could be
added later on.

Bernadette Doherty, chair of ADSW’s children and families
committee, described the process as “appalling” and “badly managed”
by the executive.

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