Breaking: Committee votes to keep schools open

Councillors have stopped short of moving to close two primary schools in Northmavine following a debate in the town hall lasting over three hours.

Members of the education and families committee voted 7-4 against a motion by chairwoman Vaila Wishart to close North Roe Primary School. Members instead backed an amendment by Andrea Manson to retain the school. She insisted it was important consultation was not a “box-ticking exercise”.

There followed unanimous support for a motion from Ms Wishart to keep the primary and nursery at Urafirth open.

• More to follow.


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  • John Tulloch

    • November 4th, 2014 15:22

    The debate was of high quality and councillors wisely decided against closure.

    Potential de-population played a major part in the decision and rightfully so.

    School closures in remote areas are going out of fashion due to the threat of accelerating de-population and, living in Argyll, I am acutely aware of that issue.

    There has been a meeting of interested parties to discuss solutions and none is more interested than the local MSP, education minister Michael Russell who has published his own prescription (courtesy of For Argyll newsblog):

    “Mr Russel’s proposed template for success in developing an economic development strategy and in overcoming the critical drift to unsustainability of Argyll and Bute’s population prescribes:
    First – …… the Council is advised to facilitate a prompt sale of Castle Toward to the South Cowal community, to create jobs…..”
    then – a major marketing campaign to show those visiting Argyll and Bute that they could easily settle here;
    then – an end to any talk of school closures;
    then – planning decisions being made more quickly and generally being more positive;
    then – local services being enhanced;
    then – the council finding a ‘can-do’ attitude to inquiries and requests.”

    So, in de-populating Argyll, the Scottish education minister prescribes, among other things:

    “An end to talk of school closures”!

    Enough said.

  • Iris Sandison

    • November 4th, 2014 16:29

    How I wish we too could hear ‘An end to talk of school closures.’

  • Kathy Greaves

    • November 4th, 2014 18:10

    I am saddened and yet not surprised that on the one hand it was thought to be almost unacceptable that teenaged students who will attend the new AHS at the proposed Lochside location should have to make the long ‘seven minutes walk’ to the Clickimin Leisure Center to take part in swimming and sports, whilst on the other hand it is deemed acceptable for very young children to endure long, twice-daily, bus journeys to and from their schools in all weathers. If there is rain or snow they could be travelling in damp clothes until they get home .

    If I was a parent in this situation I would also fight hard to retain a local school. Quality of life for young children needs to be taken into consideration.


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