The consultation report recommending closure of Scalloway secondary department has potentially devastating consequences for all junior high schools if it is voted through.
The arguments for closure are not specific to Scalloway. They apply to all junior highs. If councillors accept these arguments as a reason to close Shetland’s second biggest junior high, then the clock will be ticking on the closure of all junior highs.
In the report, the SIC schools service states unequivocally that, when it put the blueprint proposals to the council in June, its preferred option was “to eliminate as far as was practically possible, all of the junior highs in the community” (consultation report p21).
Councillors did not support the proposal to dismantle the junior high school model but it is clear that, once agreed, this report will provide grounds for closing all junior highs.
It is also noteworthy that the report outlines a substantial reduction (15.8) in staff at the Anderson High School at the same time as Scalloway closes. This leaves the question, how can more pupils and fewer teachers deliver an acceptable standard of education in Shetland, let alone the high standard that has existed here for generations?
Councillors, especially those representing rural Shetland, need to be clear what they are committing themselves and their constituents to if they support this proposal.
Scalloway Parent Council