Thursday, 11 September 2008


Summer has long gone, although the mercury has stayed in the 60s these last number of days. The machair has now lost its carpet of flowers, the ferry comes in at 8pm with its lights on - the equinox draws nigh.

Found myself at Ness once more earlier this week, notching up my 4th visit there in about 6 weeks or so. The first one, which I reported on this blog, was for the purposes of gathering pictures of wargraves in both cemeteries at Habost. During the following two, I was showing overseas visitors round, who were most impressed with the coastal scenery north and west of Eoropie.

A debate has been raging about schools in recent times. Rural Lewis has several primary schools, to which is attached a two-year extension of secondary education. Examples of such schools can be found at Shawbost and Lionel. It means that the youngsters don't have to travel all the way into Stornoway (18 and 25 miles away respectively). Of course, it does have a cost implication. Apart from that, there is also a policy from the Scottish Government which would appear to preclude S1/S2 education anywhere but at the Nicolson Institute here in Stornoway.

Western Isles council are unable to agree whether to shut the S1/S2-schools outside Stornoway, sometimes changing their minds within an evening's debate. I am getting a bit dizzy watching the pendulum swing from 'going to close' to 'keeping them open', not to mention all the bluster that comes with that.

1 comment:

  1. "I hope they don't close the rural schools--I thought Scotland had passed a law (or something to that effect) about NOT closing rural schools, but perhaps I am mistaken. Read your link to the Iolaire Disaster--fascinating stuff, thanks."
    thelovelyOutlander from a teacher

    "I understand that all schools under 20 pupils have to close - unless there are specific reasons for keeping them open ... eg on an island, distance. Well thats as clear as mud, innit?"
    scallowawife from shetland

    "well the schools now have a stay of execution for 3 years and the Comhairle I understand is wondering how they will pay for them, "
    island threads from ness

    "It is a shame that such young adults have to do the journey to stornoway twice a day. What about after school activities and the new sports venue in Lionel? These are the people who should be encouraged to use it."
    anon from banffshire