Editorial: The Old Rock 07.08.09

Very many congratulations to all those pupils who did well in their standard grade and higher exams this year. Once again, at higher level, pupils in Shetland have gained better grades on average than their counterparts across the rest of Scotland.

This may be the case every year, but it is important to acknowledge the point so that we don’t become blasé about the achievements of successive generations. For some reason, the council’s schools service seems reluctant to blow its trumpet on the matter.

It is equally important to highlight the hard work and dedication of teaching staff across the isles. With another period of reform looming in education, as standard grades are replaced, it is to be hoped that morale can be maintained.

There are acute issues to be faced. The new model under consideration by the Scottish Government presents a challenge in particular to the junior high system. We need to hear the views of teachers as the debate begins on how the system might be reshaped.

The appointment of Allan Wishart to co-ordinate the Viking Energy project makes abundant sense. Yet his standing down from Shetland Charitable Trust simply highlights the anomalous position of the remaining two directors, Bill Manson and Alistair Cooper. Isn’t it time they stood down as well to allow the creation of a proper corporate structure which would then be accountable to the trustees?


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