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Review of Highland education provision (16/12/10)
A strategic review of Highland Council’s education provision and its school estate is to be brought before members of the Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Committee early in the New Year.
Members of the Councils ECS Committee have agreed that a review of education provision will be undertaken and detailed proposals will be presented to them on 13 January 2010 for their consideration.
The Highland Council currently operates 216 schools (182 primary, 29 secondary and 5 special schools) with a current pupil population of 31,325 pupils (16,498 primary, 14,693 secondary and 134 attending special schools). Since 2003 there has been a steady decrease of 8% pupils in primary schools from 18,000 in 2003 whereas the number of secondary pupils has remained relatively static over the same period.
Members were informed that of the 183 Primary schools operational currently within the Highland Council area: 11 are rated as condition A; 57 condition B; 112 condition C, and 3 condition D. On the basis of the most recent School Estate statistics publication, Highland Council has over 25% of the Category C (poor) Primary school buildings in Scotland.
The report to the ECS Committee in January will identify those Associated School Groups should be included within the initial phase of the review. Thereafter detailed work will be carried out to inform proposals for future education provision in those areas.
Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of the ECS Committee, said: “The proposals agreed give us a road map for improving the overall provision of education in the Highlands. The review will be comprehensive and as we move through each area full consultation will be carried out.”