The Scottish Government is to intervene in the council’s decision to close the secondary department of Scalloway Junior High School, the schools service heard today.
The government told the schools service that it is going to “call in” the decision by Shetland Islands Council on 8th December, which was taken in the face of fierce opposition from pupils and parents. There is no legal limit on the length of time this part of the call-in process can take.
A letter from the Scottish government to head of schools Helen Budge said that there had been 42 representations requesting the decision be called in.
The Scottish ministers considered there were grounds to do so as the schools service had not provided sufficient detail about the proposed new Anderson High School (AHS), where pupils would eventually be sent, which made it impossible to judge the educational benefit of closing Scalloway.
SIC services committee chairman Gussie Angus said: “The schools service will consider the detail of the call-in decision. Discussions will take place with the Scottish government on this and how the schools service can best respond.
“The Anderson High School is perfectly capable of accommodating all of the Scalloway secondary pupils into the existing building which has capacity for 1,200 pupils. Currently the roll is 759 pupils.
“There has been considerable capital investment to ensure pupils’ pastoral, as well as educational, needs are met in AHS.”