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

Thursday, January 13, 2011

School (non-)closures

The campaigners in Sheilibost, Carloway, Lionel and Shawbost will rightly be very, very, pleased at the decision to stop the planned closure.

I, however, have much more ambivalent feelings towards the decision, and particularly the context in which it has been taken.

The Council was encouraged, nay instructed, by the current and previous Scottish Governments that the only way forward for new educational provision in the islands was to have the associated closures which justified, and funded, the new build programme.

We now have the situation where we are paying for new empty school buildings that are currently being built, as well as for the maintenance of the existing schools, as sum supposedly of around £1m extra per annum.

I'm not going to play the game of "the schools were saved, but we have had to close an old folks home",  but with the sums involved, I suspect that any reprieve will be temporary.

So why do we have the situation where one arm of Government drives the juggernaut that is the schools programme forward under certain conditions, while another part of the Government Education Department imposes differing and contradictory conditions?

It's a mess, it's a shambles, and we are the ones paying for it.


Anonymous said...

Not an election comming by any chance? Ohh yea, thats right there is!

Anonymous said...

'So why do we have the situation where one arm of Government drives the juggernaut that is the schools programme forward under certain conditions, while another part of the Government Education Department imposes differing and contradictory conditions?'


Anonymous said...

Instead of concentrating on our children's education and futures, the Scottish Government are more concerned about their own, way to go!

Anonymous said...

The new schools currently being built are for establishments that were identified for closure years ago, not for this most recent wave. Therefore your statement is incorrect.

Angus Parent said...

"every comment (favourable or unfavourable) is © Angus Nicolson"

Um, you can try to claim copyright on other people's comments but unless they transfer it to you, it would never wash :)

Anonymous said...


Angus Parent said...

I imagine the "eh??!" referred to my comment.

It's a quote from the bottom of this page where copyright is claimed over the comments on the blog.

That would include this one and your "eh??!".

But saying it like that doesn't make it happen (perhaps a copyright lawyer might contend that?) - I still own the rights to what I've written here and you still own the rights to your "eh??!"

Anonymous said...

As one who took the trouble to read the grounds on which a council could close a school, the flawed council submission in respect of Carloway Primary and the well constructed counter submission by Carloway Parent Council, the Minister had no option but to call the proposal in and having done so had no trouble in finding that CNES had erred and erred on the grand scale. Nothing to do with forthcoming elections but all to do with the half truths,assumptions, ignorance and sheer incompetence by CNES in their submission. Read it for yourselves - its all available on line

Anonymous said...

2:10 is quite correct.

Anonymous said...

Well said 8.21am - perhaps if the council had taken the time and trouble to fully familiarise themselves with the Schools Consulataion (Scotland) Act 2010 and the submissions from the four schools reprieved then maybe they would not be so "baffled" and more prepared to deal with the consequences of these decisions.
But instead they are attempting to alienate these communities by blaming them for the supposed additional cost of £1 million to keep these schools open - surely as a counicl they should have been prepared for this possible outcome or did they expect these communites to roll over and submit to their greater knowledge and wisdom and accept school closures without a fight!

Anonymous said...


No - the communities were entirely within their rights to fight closures of their local schools.

It is to be hoped, though, that they - along with all other people in the islands - will accept the consequences and put appropriate pressure on the Council to face up to the even more unpopular cuts which are now needed. Something for which they have shown remarkably little courage, vision and planning to date.

domhnall beag an t - siucar said...

woo and indeed hoo

Angus campbell, Morag Munro, Docus - your boys took one hell of a beating

Anonymous said...

Where did the SNP do well at the last election in the Western Isles. Top of the list was Carloway followed by Ness and a wee bit further down was South Harris.

And 8.21 says that it is not electioneering.

Anonymous said...

Despite 8.21 pointing out that folk should examine the flawed document before commenting further we have 9.39 attempting to politicise the matter.
The alarming truth is that our LA seems to be run by a bunch of incompetent half wits who despite having a blue print set out before them on how to close the schools just failed miserably.
They continue to further re enforce their ignorance by insisting that they can't see where they went wrong.

Anonymous said...

Hello 9.39 I think you have shot yourself in the foot or even feet.