Closure recommended for north primaries

The closure-threatened Urafirth Primary School. Photo: Maree Hay
The closure-threatened Urafirth Primary School. Photo: Maree Hay

Two North Mainland primary schools have been recommended for closure in a consultation report published by the council.

North Roe Primary and Urafirth Primary School and nursery department should close at the end of this school year, and pupils transfer to Ollaberry Primary School on 19th August next year, or as soon as possible after that date.

The publishing of the report follows a period of statutory consultation earlier this year, which comprised public meetings and discussions with staff and pupils, and which invited written responses from the public – 224 were received.

The consultation report will be considered by the SIC education and families committee on 4th November, with a recommendation made to the council the following day.

The consultation report and the executive summary report can be found

The future of two secondary departments, Mid Yell and Whalsay, is now going to public consultation, starting today and running until 18th November.

The proposals are to remove the Secondary 4 stage of education at Mid Yell Junior High School and Whalsay School, or to close the secondary departments of the two schools entirely.

Public meetings on the issue will be held on Tuesday 30th September at Whalsay School; Thursday 2nd October at Mid Yell Junior High School; and Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th October at the Anderson High School. All meetings will be from 7pm to 9pm.

Meetings held at the AHS will discuss the potential effects of the proposals on that school. Further information will also be sent to the relevant consultees to allow them to respond should they wish.

Education and families committee chairwoman Vaila Wishart said: “It is essential that anyone with an interest in this important issue makes their views known to us. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions you may have about the process.”


Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • September 19th, 2014 15:18

    Thank you SIC for publishing this report as I was wondering what I’d do with myself now that the referendum is over.

    Mind you, it’s so soon after the referendum that I nearly missed this article!

    I’ll have a look at the report but I can’t see how these schools can, realistically, be closed without fixed road links into the islands concerned.

    The rural districts must stick together on yet another crude attempt to “divide and conquer”. Why?

    Because once they succeed with these, they’ll be back for another slice and it could be you who are next!

  • Ali Inkster

    • September 19th, 2014 17:07

    This council really does not get it, Salmond with his failed attempt at independence has forced westminster into pledging more powers and more cash. Not his stated aim but a lot more than he had before he started. Instead of fighting the community you are supposed to serve take a lesson from him and force the government to let us keep more of our resources to pay for the schools and fixed links we need to make our communities sustainable. You can do this very easily by pushing a independence agenda. But since you failed miserably in negotiating any kind of meaningful settlement from Total may I suggest you follow another example set by eck and fall on your swords, with your collective resignations we could elect folk with a bit more ability for the negotiations to come over the next few months. If folk agree they are welcome to let the council know via the petition online or in your local shop.

  • Samantha McDonald

    • September 21st, 2014 18:07

    I can’t understand why they are closing the schools that they are. What is there reasons for justifying keeping the school open that will need structural work done. When they have a school that all the nursery children go to from the North anyway, why can’t they continue their education in that school. Surely that is common sense which is sorely lacking.

    • John Tulloch

      • September 22nd, 2014 9:38


      See if you can form a sentence which includes the following:

      “Pork, Ollaberry, Ratter, barrel”?


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