PARENTS have been warned to brace for “unprecedented” school cuts as council bosses desperately try to plug a £60 million financial black hole.

Schools across Falkirk have written to families detailing a raft of measures, including compulsory redundancies, which may have to be taken as the local authority urgently seeks to save cash.

It comes after council plans indicated £5.8m will need to be sliced from Children’s Services over each of the next five years, with secondary schools expected to identify savings of £2.5m.

Jon Reid, rector of Larbert High School, told parents the proposals would see £503,407 cut from the school’s budget, with 12 teachers potentially made redundant.

Meanwhile, Falkirk High’s headteacher Keith Webster insisted £314,355 of savings would need to be found, with seven teachers let go. This would lead to larger classes and a reduction in subject choices.

Scottish Labour’s education spokesman Iain Gray said the letters would be a source of “real anxiety” for parents and teachers.

He said: "This week at First Minister’s Question Nicola Sturgeon was told by Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard the reality of cuts to school budget – teachers forced to buy pens, pencils and books for their own pupils.

"The First Minister flippantly dismissed these cuts. Now we are seeing headteachers schools overseen by an SNP-run council talk about the possibility of compulsory redundancies and larger class sizes.

"The First Minister claims that education is her top priority – if that were the case schools would not be facing brutal cuts.”

It comes after the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) warned vital services such as libraries, leisure centres and community hubs may have to be scrapped unless councils are handed more money in this year’s Scottish Budget.

It urged Finance Secretary Derek Mackay to place councils on a level footing with the NHS, and insisted local authorities need £549 million "just to stand still".

Meanwhile, teachers are threatening strike action amid demands for a 10 per cent pay rise to offset a decade of austerity.

Falkirk Council is currently struggling with an estimated budget gap of £60m over the next five years – with a “real risk” this could balloon even further.

A council report recently noted the necessary savings “cannot be met without having a direct and significant impact on schools”.

The local authority has now asked headteachers to examine where cuts could be made.

A council spokeswoman said: “Falkirk Council is currently facing a budget gap of around £18m in 2019/20.

“To address this challenge all senior managers in Falkirk Council have been asked to identify significant potential savings from across all service areas, including education.

“This is part of a strategic council-wide exercise designed to meet the budget gap for 2019/20 and identify opportunities for service transformation across the entire organisation.

“Currently head teachers are discussing potential savings options with school staff and with parent councils.

“Council officers are working with head teachers and with trade union representatives to identify how savings will be achieved.

"A report will be prepared for the council’s education executive in January 2019 on the options identified.

“No final decisions will be taken until the council sets its budget in February 2019.”