Major cuts to East Renfrewshire’s education services are set to be delayed until next year.

But plans still remain to remove classroom assistants, lunchtime assistants and behavioural support assistants from April 2019.

Council bosses had also planned to save over £5million in the next three years by cutting funding to head teachers.

But that figure has now been reduced to £500,000 after the Scottish Government handed the council an extra £3million in funding.

Despite that, plans still remain to save £80,000 on school transport and by realigning school budgets this year.

Easy Renfrewshire Council leader Tony Buchanan said: “Some of the options that we had were extremely difficult and ones that, certainly as an administration, we were not comfortable with.

“The main ones that we’re looking to remove is a change in the devolved school management, which is the money that head teachers get for running their schools.

“We had proposed a £5m saving over the three year period but we’ve now reduced that to a £500k saving.

“We’ve reduced the amounts that were initially anticipated. That protects many of the frontline services that we deliver.

“We’re the top performing education authority and have been for some time. We’ve managed to narrow the attainment gap significantly.

“Taking the saving from the change in devolved school management away will hopefully continue to have a major impact there.”

Council bosses aim to save £24million by 2021, and plans remain to save over £1million by removing teaching assistants from next year.

A further £139,000 is set to be saved by removing lunchtime school assistants and behavioural support assistants from April 2019.

The council will save a further £553,000 by reducing funding for school technicians, administration, clerical and support staff, and by redesigning the instrumental music programme.

But Councillor Buchanan said: “Effectively we’ve pushed all of them back a bit, enabling us some more time to work on those changes and look at those savings, and then deem if we need to take them in future years.

“It protects the budgets in our schools to help us deliver education, which is one of the main areas which people contacted us and told us was a key element for their concerns.”