Education Secretary Michael Russell has announced the membership of Commission that will investigate how rural education can be delivered and work on tightening up the Schools (Consultation) Act 2010 and we are delighted to have our very own Anne Baird representing ARSN and putting our views across.
In these tough economic times, it seems that Local Authorities are targeting rural schools for closure, with little or no regard to the devastating effect this will have on the children of these schools and their communities, in the false belief that they will be able to make significant cost savings. We hope the Commission will investigate all the factors involved in the provision of Rural Education and consider new and innovative ideas that would improve the viability of rural schools. We also hope it will conduct a detailed review of cost and funding issues, in order to bring greater clarity to the means by which small schools are supported by Government, as well as identifying where there is room for improvement to the formulae used.
Our aim is to help create the circumstances where closure of rural schools will genuinely only be considered as a last resort, when all other options have been tried and exhausted, as is the clear intention of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010. We also hope that a revision of the Act and publication of new guidance on adherence to it will ensure that no other schools in Scotland face the disgrace of Argyll & Bute Council’s two failed sets of closure proposals.
We look forward to working with the other members of the Commission and addressing how Rural Education can be taken into the future in positive and progressive ways, consolidating the Curriculum for Excellence.
For the full announcement, please click on the link below: