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Papa Stour


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Independence will only work when there is more money coming in than there is going out.


Shetland is not in a stable enough situation at the moment to take that proposal forward.


Posts in this thread so far have pointed to the fact that Papa tour receives significant funding/upgrades when other Isle communities lose out. Would it not be better to channel some of the funding to the Isles that are making progress rather than pumping it all into one that is declining?


I would rather see some of the Isles doing well rather than all of them doing poorly.

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  • 2 years later...
29 October 2010


SHETLAND Islands Council is to open the primary school on Papa Stour to cater for one five year old child who has just moved to the island with his family.


The school has been in mothballs for the past five years after the last young family decided to home school their kids before leaving the island, which has a population below 20.


The council will advertise for a new teacher who they hope will be able to start before the end of the year, but in the meantime a supply teacher will fly in from the Shetland mainland once a week to help the boy with his lessons.


The boy will also receive help with home education through a “homelink” officer based in Lerwick and he will be connected to the school intranet system GLOW through Burravoe primary school on Yell.


Re-opening the school will cost the authority £50,000 a year at a time when they are trying to close five primary schools and two secondary departments in a bid to streamline the islands’ education system and save money.


SIC education quality improvement officer Matthew Moss said that the Care Commission was also looking into opening a nursery facility on the island for the family’s second child.


Mr Moss said: “There are islands in other parts of Scotland that don’t have schools but it’s this council’s policy to provide primary education on all the inhabited islands.”




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^^ Absolutley!

In no way denying any child an education but fifty thousand pound a year for one child is a smack in the face for all of us with bairns attending Scalloway school! We moved back to Scalloway because of the quality of education on offer for our bairns. Now it's even unlikely that they will provide transport for us so we can have our children educted in the school of our choice

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It's just madness. And listening to the two councillors on Radio Shetland last night it just seemed as if they are powerless to stop it because of their "legal obligations".


It does annoy me that a "family" can come from hundreds of miles away to a deserted island looking for "the good life" with the result that the SIC has to fork out £50,000 PER YEAR at a time when the axe is looming over the likes of the Scallawaa school with hundreds of bairns.....


Mind you, listening to the two councillors speaking on the overall budget problems gave the impression that the councillors as a whole are like a bunch of rabbits caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck......


Telling the various department officials to "identify savings" just isn't going to work because it won't be enough. The councillors themselves are going to have to realise that it is them who will have to make the hard choices about what to cut.

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i do find it crazy that they are going to open a school for 1/2 people and potentially close a school for hundreds. dont make sense at all.

I used to go to the papa stour school when i was younger, my parents moved from south and it was already open when we moved as 2 pupils already attended and another one started not long after me so went to four then back down to 2, we moved to mainland shetland when i was 7 (i think) so left one pupil there and it shut no long after that.

They should use the £50.000 or what ever it is to keep the schools running that really need it.

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Just when you thought it was safe to................


I feel a Victor Meldrew moment coming on, or even a John Mac, you cannot be serious?


How on earth can anyone justify wasting money to the tune of £50,000 per year on an island that should just realise its finished, when all those students from Scalloway have to go into Lerwick? Where is the justification for just one bairn?


Oh well rant over.

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I think that, going by some of the latter comments, some of the contributors here are happy to see an island community die off. Perhaps they feel the same about Fair Isle, Unst and Yell, for example but haven't actually stated that fact.

There is no guarantee, of course, that the family will stay on the island nor a guarantee that the child will even stay in Shetland when it grows up, but it seems wrong that, whilst Shetland is reportedly looking for new residents, were it to deny incomers schooling for their children, they would be guilty of dictating where they should live.

This incoming family would, I presume, be paying their council tax and other bills so why should they be denied education for their child? The mere fact that the school has re-opened may actually attract more families to the island.

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Daft pure and simple. Yes, the council is obliged to provide education but open a school for 1 child?? They should think outside the box and provide another form of education such as teleconferencing (or whatever its called). That could be suplemented with, for example, a peripatetic-once-a-week teacher, a monthly visit to the nearest mainland school etc. Also, there's the social developement of the child to think about.


A politician (Maggie Thatcher, I think) once said that running a country's finances is a matter of good housekeeping. I can think of loads of ways of saving money.

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Running a country's finances certainly does involve good housekeeping; something the last Labour government and the SIC failed abysmally at.


The idea of teleconferencing sounds a good one so maybe it was considered by the council already. If not, then perhaps you can suggest it.

However, to deny any incoming family the chance to have their child educated would be to basically signal the running-down of the island.

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Guest Anonymous

unless they are paying several hundred thousand a year in council tax daveh then they are getting a bargain, so all anyone needs to do to get a private 1 to 1 education for their kids is move to a remote isle in shetland not scotland or england mind you but shetland. what a farce indeed.

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