Council to mothball Skeld school

The SIC has agreed to close Skeld Primary School at a meeting this morning (Monday).

Despite strong opposition from parents and the local community, councillors voted to mothball the school and early learning setting by eight votes to two.

It will be mothballed for a year, with an annual review on whether or not to re-open the building to come before councillors.

The process began after the school roll fell below 20 per cent of its capacity, with members being told the school is only currently at seven per cent capacity.

Pupils from the primary school will attend Aith Junior High School from August.

West Side councillor Liz Peterson vehemently opposed the closure of the Skeld school, going so far as to say that the views of the wider community had not been sought during the process.

But education director Helen Budge argued the SIC had consulted widely and extensively with parents and people in the area.

She said there were eight bairns in the Skeld catchment area who had requested to go to another school next year.

That was more than the pupil roll at Skeld Primary School, she pointed out.

Ms Peterson went as far to claim that Mrs Budge had not followed the mothballing policy – because investigations into how transport between Skeld and Aith would work had been carried out before a decision had been made.

That led to a swift rebuke from councillor John Fraser, who said it was “just wrong” for an elected member to question a senior SIC official in such a way.

After a lengthy question and debate session, Ms Peterson sought to have the mothballing process halted.

However, she wanted the council to start looking into closing the school instead – claiming this process was backed by parents, and would involve a fuller consultation with the community.

Her amendment only received the support of North Isles councillor Ryan Thomson though, with eight votes in favour of shutting the school.


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