On 12th October 2012 I wrote a letter deploring the SIC’s then intention to close the Whalsay secondary school. On Tuesday night I attended a public meeting in Whalsay to discuss options to this ridiculous proposal.
At an excellently attended, and conducted, meeting, the floor put forward compelling and reasoned arguments against the latest offer from the SIC.
This means that all pupils will mandatorily, at the end of third year, be made to decamp to the Anderson High School in Lerwick. The overriding reason for this was put forward by the SIC representatives as being the Curriculum For Excellence (CFE).
This appears to be an exercise in academia concocted by urbanites which may well work in urban and mainland areas. It is ridiculous to apply it to island groups such as Shetland where schools are separated by stretches of sea and the vagaries of some of the wildest weather in the UK.
Surely the education and families committee must be at loggerheads with itself regarding this issue. There must be some form of choice involved in a child’s educational progression. If the children are transferred to Lerwick and cannot cope they will be returned home with some vague promise of finding them something to do? I felt ashamed for the representative who stated this.
It may well be that the brightest children may be least disposed to being away from family support. This proposal will blight the further education of any child not conforming to this Orwellian edict. How will these nonconformists be weeded out?
Will there be a consultative body which will decide if a child is to be sent into the educational wilderness?
Everyone knows the real reason is financial. This is not open to debate.
Let the choice be left to the children and families concerned, and stop this duplicitous “consultation”. The system at present works well and is not broken, so leave it as it is.