20th October 2018
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Waiting is almost over for Skerries parents as delayed meeting is due to take place this month

2 comments, , by , in Headlines, News

A new attempt will be made by councillors to discuss the possible closure of the Skerries secondary department at a reconvened town hall meeting next week.

The SIC’s education and families committee was to debate the future of the island’s secondary unit last month.

But three days before the 10th October meeting was due to take place it emerged a technical glitch meant some responses to the consultation were not included in a final report.

The item was rapidly drawn from the meeting to allow further consultation. It will now take place on Tuesday 10th December.

Submissions were invited to be received by 12th November. Eighteen further responses were subsequently received by education officials. They have now been incorporated into the consultation report. All of the 18 disagreed with the proposal to close.

If approved, the plans would mean secondary lessons in Skerries coming to an end in July, with pupils transferring to the Anderson High School in Lerwick from August.

The council believes bringing an end to secondary lessons there will save £73,473 – down from £76,336 once the cost of providing an escort on the ferry is factored in.

However, it also says moving children to the Anderson High will provide them with a better quality of education.

Children’s Services maintains learning opportunities are limited in the Skerries department.

Residents in Skerries are far from convinced. Figures released before the extended consultation showed 62 per cent were against the plans. A total of 57 responses were received, once the added consultation period was factored in.

Parents said children would develop better with their families, and in their own community.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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2 comments

  1. George Gillon

    I seem to recall in the not so distant past, a national campaign to attract families to come and live on the Skerries, great opportunity to raise a family in idyllic surroundings it said. I bet it wasn’t mentioned about sending your 11+yr olds to boarding school in a town which, please forgive me, hasn’t got the best reputation for youths being drawn into bad ‘lifestyle choices’. I only hope the success enjoyed by the Wastside and the Soothenders will extend to the Skerries – all the same arguments apply I think.

    Reply
  2. John Tulloch

    Skerries,

    Arguably, the most successful community in Shetland, making a significant positive contribution to the Shetland and Scottish economies, a community we should help to build up – for our own good, if nothing else – and what do we do?

    We do our best to tear it down by cutting the ferries and closing the school.

    Reply

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