Scalloway Parent Council has agreed the terms of its request for the Scottish government to call in the SIC’s recent decision to shut the village’s secondary department.
Following a full committee meeting on Wednesday night, spokeswoman Karen Eunson said the request was based on a belief that the local authority has “completely failed to
demonstrate any educational benefits” to shutting the school. Parents also feel the council has failed to comply with the requirements of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 and the special provisions for rural schools within the legislation.
“The process has been flawed and we have prepared a detailed document highlighting its many inadequacies,” said Ms Eunson. “We are now finalising this document and will submit it in the next few days.”
Last Tuesday members voted 13-9 to shut the secondary, which the schools service hopes will save £700,000 a year from its huge £42 million annual education spend. The council insists it has complied to the letter with the relevant legislation. If the decision is ratified, pupils would be transferred to the Anderson High School in Lerwick from August 2011.
Members of the parent council also met isles MSP Tavish Scott this week to brief him in advance of his planned meeting with education minister Mike Russell. The minister has until mid-January to decide whether to call the decision in.
Ms Eunson said: “We are very pleased to have had Tavish’s support throughout our campaign and we have also had offers of support from Highlands and Islands list MSPs. Their representations will obviously help to strengthen our case.”
She said many individuals and groups were seeking information about what they can do to save the school from closure. The parent council has produced a leaflet in response, which includes information about how to request a call-in and how to contact MSPs. More information is available at www.savescallowayschool.org.
Ms Eunson added: “We would urge all parents and concerned members of the community to do their bit to show the government the strength of opposition in the community to this unfair decision.”