Waiting is almost over for Skerries parents as delayed meeting is due to take place this month
A new attempt will be made by councillors to discuss the possible closure of the Skerries secondary department at a reconvened town hall meeting next week.
The SIC’s education and families committee was to debate the future of the island’s secondary unit last month.
But three days before the 10th October meeting was due to take place it emerged a technical glitch meant some responses to the consultation were not included in a final report.
The item was rapidly drawn from the meeting to allow further consultation. It will now take place on Tuesday 10th December.
Submissions were invited to be received by 12th November. Eighteen further responses were subsequently received by education officials. They have now been incorporated into the consultation report. All of the 18 disagreed with the proposal to close.
If approved, the plans would mean secondary lessons in Skerries coming to an end in July, with pupils transferring to the Anderson High School in Lerwick from August.
The council believes bringing an end to secondary lessons there will save £73,473 – down from £76,336 once the cost of providing an escort on the ferry is factored in.
However, it also says moving children to the Anderson High will provide them with a better quality of education.
Children’s Services maintains learning opportunities are limited in the Skerries department.
Residents in Skerries are far from convinced. Figures released before the extended consultation showed 62 per cent were against the plans. A total of 57 responses were received, once the added consultation period was factored in.
Parents said children would develop better with their families, and in their own community.