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Blueprint for education consultation


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copy of letter issed by Dunrossness Parent Council but pertinent to all schools in Shetland "Dear Parent/Guardian

As you will be aware Shetland Islands Council has undertaken an Informal Consultation into the future of education for Shetland. Following this consultation formal proposals were put to Shetland Islands Council Services Committee on 17th June 2010. At this meeting the Services Committee agreed to option 2 for both secondary and primary.

A communication to the parent council from the schools service detailing the decision is attached. What is not clear from the communication is that by proposing option 2 the Services Committee is also proposing to implement all the cuts contained in option 1."

Under option 1 every primary school will see: Classroom assistants removed or provision halved Supervisory assistants reduced National staffing levels applied (bigger classes less teachers) Teaching Heads Reductions in specialist staff, and specialist staff for PE, Music and Art limited to the minimum hours required to provide the minimum required non contact time for class teachers Reduction in Additional Special Needs support Reduction in Janitorial overtime and reduced cleaning Other unknown things as yet

More than half the proposed savings are to be sought from these reductions in service, and these will affect every school across Shetland, including Dunrossness Primary School and Sandwick Junior High.

At the start of the Blueprint process we were told clearly that any proposed cuts to the education budget affecting service provision were independent of the Blueprint, and the Schools Service has confirmed that there will be no further consultation on these cuts once they have been ratified by the Full Council on 30th June 2010.

This is not an area that local schools will have any control over, so if you have any concerns about the proposed cuts, you should contact your local councillors before 30th June 2010:"

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This blueprint ought to have two aims. To ensure that cost savings are real and to ensure that the education of the bairns is no worse and preferably better at the end of any changes made.

 

When I say real cost savings I mean comparing the total cost of running a school now (staff, building, transport and so on) with the total cost of educating those pupils in the future. And I am worried that it would be so easy to "allocate" a percentage of the costs of Hayfield House to a school on the closure list even though the same costs would just get split between the remaining schools unless there are changes at Hayfield House.

 

Quality of education is not always easy to define but it must be far wider than just the actual lessons. Jargon phrases such as "social interaction within the peer group" really do mean something and longer journeys to school need to be balanced against that as well as things like better equipment.

 

Longer journeys to school also need to be properly measured. For example it would be easy and accurate to claim that the AHS is only something like 8 miles from Scalloway School but of course it is nearly twice that from the tip of Burra.

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Thanks MuckleJoannie but I was looking for the details behind the headline savings, but I am guessing it is not available as I would like to see if they are based on reality.

 

Also with headline figures for Primary Option 2, does it include one school in Lerwick, for example? I would suggest not based on the fact it has not been looked at in depth, but then again a figure is quoted for staff cost saving in the finance section?

 

There is just to much uncertainty and doubt around these studies for my liking.

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  • 5 months later...

It would apear that the services committee members will be asked to close skerries secondary school next Tuesday, with serious consequences for this very fragile community, In doing so they will make a saving of around £73,000

 

Last Tuesday, the infrastructure committee decided to buy a second hand skip truck with 52000km on the clock for £79,500

 

Best value?

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don't you know that the SIC don't know how to save money they only know how to spend it?

 

What I don't understand is that they are saying that if Scalloway and Skerries secondary depts don't close they are going to have to make drastic staffing cuts in other schools. These cuts will go ahead regardless of school closures. They have a time-line which I have a copy of and all classroom posts and ASN posts are going to be under review. Now if schools are overstaffed which is what they are now saying these jobs will go anyway.

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  • 6 months later...

And so they should be. It does not take a lot of intelligence to read and understand joined up writing, something sadly lacking by the majority of our councillors..

 

Why should they be (assume you must know more than is in the news story?) - and what do you mean by not understanding joined up writing?

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And so they should be. It does not take a lot of intelligence to read and understand joined up writing, something sadly lacking by the majority of our councillors..

 

Why should they be (assume you must know more than is in the news story?) - and what do you mean by not understanding joined up writing?

Burravoe and Uyeasound decisions have been called in by the government basically because the pupils at these schools will get a lower standard of education by moving schools.

The majority of our councillors were unable to interpret the report and work it out for themselves.

I do hope this helps Infiltrator...

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And so they should be. It does not take a lot of intelligence to read and understand joined up writing, something sadly lacking by the majority of our councillors..

 

Why should they be (assume you must know more than is in the news story?) - and what do you mean by not understanding joined up writing?

Burravoe and Uyeasound decisions have been called in by the government basically because the pupils at these schools will get a lower standard of education by moving schools.

The majority of our councillors were unable to interpret the report and work it out for themselves.

I do hope this helps Infiltrator...

 

Thanks, makes sense now - is the report available online anywhere?

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