Thursday, 14 June 2012

Revolving doors

Your blogger is experiencing some digital vertigo, with yet another revolving door in operation in these islands. The closure of the two primary schools in Seilebost (Harris) and Carloway (Lewis), as well as the junior secondary departments at Shawbost and Lionel (both in Lewis).

In 2010, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar decided to shut these four schools, but their decision was overturned by the Scottish Education Secretary. The Comhairle appealed in a court of law, and the closure was upheld very recently.

Now, the Scottish Education Secretary will appeal again, pleading that the judge erred in law.

Leaving the legal arguments to one side, all this to-ing and fro-ing leaves parents and children in a great deal of uncertainty. Will they be bussing to Stornoway (as in the case of the S1/S2 departments in Ness and the West Side), or move to schools in Tarbert (as in the case of Seilebost) or Shawbost (as for Carloway).

Another point is that the latest date for closure, without causing even more rumpus, is June 28th, a fortnight away (at time of posting). Schools that were closed at an earlier stage had the opportunity to collate their history and mount a community event. That will not be possible for the 4 schools currently under threat.
I’m not impressed.

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