MAXIMISING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES IN THE WESTERN ISLES
Congratulations on your new position which although challenging provides you with a major opportunity to make a real difference to people's lives.
I represent an area of the Western Isles that has waited for too long to have our educational facilities brought into the 21st Century.
Bayble School was identified as a priority for the site of a new community school under the previous administration. Our community accepted that the "quid pro quo" for this would be substantial rationalisation involving the closure of two local primary schools. We did this in the knowledge that this was the only way we could move education provision in the Point area forward . The initiative was supported by all the school boards and the local community council.
Since the turn of the year the Western Isles Schools initiative has been in a state of flux until the commitments of the new administration were confirmed. We welcomed your commitment to continue the financial commitment of over £50 million to the Western Isles Schools initiative .
IT WAS THEREFORE WITH A SENSE OF COMPLETE INCREDULITY I LISTENED TO YOUR LOCAL SNP MSP ANNOUNCE THAT WE WERE BACK TO "SQUARE ONE" AND THAT HE WANTED TO REVIEW THE SCHOOLS RATIONALISATION PROGRAMME IN THE WESTERN ISLES AND WOULD WORK TO KEEP ALL SCHOOLS OPEN.
Over the years many of us have grown cynical about national politicians promising anything to get elected but Mr Allan takes the biscuit!
How can you square your departments policy that rationalisation and improvement of Educational Resources must be accompanied by closure of schools whose school rolls have declined to a point that the quality of the continued provision of education there is questionable?
Also, Mr Allan's cynical attempt to raise expectations with some parents in the full knowledge that he can turn round and deny any implication - if closures go ahead - is the action of the worst kind of political opportunist who is not worthy of the status of MSP.
Many of us have been impressed with the professional way in which the new ministers have gone about their first 100 days . This favourable impression has been destroyed by your party's representative in the Western Isles failing to check the rationale and facts behind the local authority's approach to improving the resources and effectiveness of schools provision in the Western Isles to bring them into the 21st Century . Also he does not appear to have given any thought to your departments policy of improving utilisation , effectiveness and efficiency.
I would be grateful if you would confirm, as a matter of urgency, that you do not share Mr Allan's views on this issue.
Councillor DJ MacSween,
Sgire an Rubha.