With the three schools in Lionel, Shawbost and Back lined up for closure because the Education Minister 'doesn't have a clue' abut the Curriculum for Excellence, and two of the decisions made on the casting vote of the Chair, the scene is set for an explosive Council meeting next week.
Who is right and who is wrong?
I'm not sure anyone knows the right answers any more, as the real issues have been lost in a battle to the death between PFI, budget cuts and a desire to do the best for the communities.
But just what is 'the best'?
Should education provision be judged on the distance pupils have to travel, or on the quality of teaching and the environment in which they learn? Are small schools inherently better than large schools? Should as wide a choice of classes as possible be the aim for every pupil?
The answer is not at one extreme or the other, but falls into the subjective grey areas where opinions differ and interpretations clash.
The Councillors have had to be very brave today in casting their votes: as either way there lie huge problems for the Council and the communities coming in the future.
One thing for certain, is that the matter is not closed, and I foresee education remaining a hot topic in the islands for coming years.
As someone who has faced similar decisions in the past, I still believe that a complete review of how education is to be delivered in the Western Isles was needed to encompass PFI and the role of the 2-year Secondaries, but that time has passed, and I only hope that the strategy that is now being followed actually produces the expected result.
Update 20/6: Council choose the worst possible building option for the new Nicolson Institute. Where are the employees cars to go now - onto the swamp to the East? With the Council building suffering serious settlement problems due to the depth of peat, we can look forward to major building problems and cost overruns.