22nd February 2018
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Councillors invited to visit closure-threatened Sandness school

Parents of pupils attending the closure-threatened Sandness Primary School are inviting all SIC councillors to attend a community open day on Friday afternoon.

Elected members are being offered a short tour of the school and a presentation by pupils, followed by a tour of the community and a visit to Jamieson’s spinning mill, which employs over 30 people in the area. It will take place at 2pm.

Parent council chairwoman Penny Armstrong said parents, pupils, community members, employers and employees would be present to answer any questions councillors have.

She said: “[The parent council] understands the effort councillors invest in gathering information to ensure they make the right decision. They are also aware of the far-reaching consequences of the school closure consultation on pupils, parents and the future of the community.”

Ms Armstrong said the Sandness community was eager that councillors had as much information as possible before voting on whether to shut their school.

At a public meeting in Sandness last week, parents and residents warned that closure would rip the heart out of the isolated West Side community.

Along with the three ward councillors, only Lerwick North member Allan Wishart and services committee chairman Gussie Angus were present at the consultation. They were told the proposal was short-sighted and risked jeopardising the area’s prosperity for the sake of saving £41,084, less than one per cent of the schools service’s overall cutbacks target.

The consultation period ends on 13th March. Councillors are expected to vote on whether to shut Sandness – and the primary schools at Burravoe, North Roe and Uyeasound – sometime in May.

• Consultation response forms are available from the schools service or online at www.shetland.gov.uk

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