Shetland families furious over decision to shut Out Skerries school

The Guardian is reporting that Scotland’s smallest secondary school, which serves a group of islands in Shetland and has just three pupils, is to be shut after a long battle by the islanders to keep it running…

Parents on the small archipelago of Out Skerries, home to 73 residents living on two of the largest islands, were dismayed to discover Wednesday morning that the closure plan had been cleared by the Scottish government.

Mike Russell, the Scottish education secretary, who has been embroiled in arguments over his attempts to save local schools in his own rural constituency from closure, announced he would not call in a decision by Shetland Islands council to shut the school this summer.

Islanders have been resisting efforts to shut the secondary school since the mid 1990s.

While the island’s primary school, which also has three pupils, will stay open, the residents insist that having a secondary school there is central to the community’s continued survival and cohesion. Out Skerries has a church, two shops and a small fish processing plant.

Shetland Islands council plans to close the school for good on 4 July, saving the council £73,500 but forcing the pupils to commute each week to Anderson high school in Lerwick during term-time and stay in a hostel attached to the school…

The council’s convenor, Malcolm Bell, used his casting vote to push through the closure, after the education committee was evenly split on the decision as the authority wrestled with spending cuts…

More at: Shetland families furious over decision to shut Out Skerries school

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Comments

  1. CliffSeggie

    SchoolsImprove I understand the economic arguments but children should not be forced to live away from home so they can go to school

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