Parents of children who attend the secondary department of closure-threatened Scalloway Junior High School have reacted angrily to being sent a copy of the latest Anderson High School newsletter.
The document arrived through letterboxes yesterday after the schools service and services committee chairman Gussie Angus decided to post it out to help counter what they regard as factually incorrect criticisms of the Lerwick school where pupils will go if councillors vote to shut Scalloway.
But the move was condemned today by Scalloway parents who portrayed it as an attempt to influence the consultation process into the planned closure which comes to an end on Sunday at midnight.
Karen Eunson, vice-chairwoman of Scalloway Parent Council, said: “I came home last night to a full colour, 40 page, glossy brochure on Anderson High School. My phone has been red hot with folk complaining.
“How much money has been spent on this at a time when we are being told that the financial situation is so bad that schools have to shut? What budget did it come out of? How can they send this out during a consultation period? This can only be seen as a cack handed attempt to influence the outcome of the consultation.”
She said the parent council was considering making a complaint to the Hayfield House, SIC chief executive Alistair Buchan and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate.
However, a spokeswoman for the schools service said: “Following the negative comments which were received about the Anderson High School during the statutory consultation period for the proposal to close Scalloway Junior High School secondary department, the schools service in conversation with councillor Angus decided to send out the current Anderson High School newsletter to a number of consultees.
“Many of the comments made in public were not supported by evidence and although we will address these comments in the Consultation Report, we considered it important to share the good practice that exists in the Anderson High School now. It must be difficult for young folk who hear such things in the media, and at public meetings, to consider going to the Anderson High School for 5th and 6th year, with the current perception there is from some comments.
“There have been many valid comments in the media about the high quality education provided in Scalloway. It is also important that everyone is aware of the high quality education also provided in the Anderson High School.”