Share |
The truths they don't want you to read....

Sunday, August 26, 2007

School closures

The final version of the report that is going to the Comhairle this week is now available here.

I think that it clearly lays out the difficult options in front of the department, as just how they have come to the decision, which is largely about the inability to deliver the new curriculum for Secondary 1-3 in the existing buildings.

For me the key element was given in paragraph 16.1, which I reproduce below:

Although a small number of Headteachers were positive about a possible move to an S1-3 structure provided the additional resource was made available, some Headteachers had broader educational concerns about a whole scale move to S1-3 provision in the current S1-2 schools. These included:
  • The feasibility of providing meaningful choice with such small rolls.
  • The lack of social interaction and group dynamics in small groupings.

  • Insufficient personal challenge for the more able pupils.

  • The adequacy of preparation for certification from S4.

  • The view that while many parents have been supportive of their children remaining within their own communities for S1-2, there were doubts that parents and pupils would wish to continue in the school for a further year.

Although the report by itself doesn't have all the information, and I have the benefit of some knowledge gained from my eight years in the Council, I think the recommendations make sense
as the way forward. However, I still think that the schools PPP is going to prove to be a millstone around the neck in years to come.

I was reminded that I have previously commented on school rolls, and the threat to schools unless there was a miraculous growth in population, and that I specifically made comments on this when we were discussing the windfarms which featured in the Gazette and Grampian TV IIRC. I was told I was scaremongering, and the schools were safe.

Little did any of us know....


Anonymous said...

I heard from a senior finance official nearly a year ago that from a purely financial point of view schools had to go and that they would not be pressing the decision till the new councillors were elected as they were not sure that with an election comming up they could get the " correct decision" from the old councillors.

I also think the English system of first, middle and secondary Schools is now far superior to what we have here.
But we do have a bit of an achillies heel in thinking that the scottish education system is superior, it possibly was but I dont think that can be claimed any more. The Higher exams are just one example, they are rushed and should be delivered over a longer period, resits in the autumn should also be brought back.

AIF said...

"thinking that the Scottish education system is superior"

Recent research seems to suggest we have reason to believe this.

For example the Scottish education system does quite well in this study.

Or how about Scottish children 'more advanced'?

Anonymous said...

there are as ever both good and bad points to both systems. But I think one of the most important points is that they are different, and that can only be good. At least half the country will get jobs!