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Council agree to moratorium on rural primary school closures (24/06/11)
The Highland Council has accepted the imposition of a one-year moratorium on rural school closures but is to seek an urgent meeting with Scottish Cabinet Secretary, Mike Russell, to discuss the Council’s current procedures in regard to reviewing its education estate and the broader issues relating to the education of pupils in rural schools.
Councilors accepted that the moratorium until June 2012 would be used to allow a commission on the delivery of rural education to review the legislation and its application and to make recommendations on how to reflect best practice.
The Council is currently reviewing its school estate. It has completed statutory consultation in Greater Fort William, a process described as an “exemplar” by the Scottish Government.
It was agreed to continue the current pre-statutory consultation in rural Caithness and Easter Ross.
Proposals on the future educational provision for Caithness will be reported to the Education Culture and Sport Committee on 9 August.
Councillors were assured that the Council has a robust and rigorous process of sustainable school estate review firmly based on legislation and taking account of all factors in the legislation, such as educational and community impact. It is based on the Associated School Groups of primary schools feeding into the local secondary school and takes into account future demographics, transport and community use.