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Shetland schools and education system


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Where do you want the new AHS?  

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  1. 1. Where do you want the new AHS?

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If you have a dozen or more bairns in a remote area connected by road to the mainland that is justification for a primary school, if it is an island not connected by road then it must have a primary school or at least some provision for home schooling even for one child.

 

The High school in Lerwick has turned out a high percentage of pupils that have gone on to do very well for themselves, not just in Shetland but right accross the world. This is in no small part down to the country primary schools, I don't know if any one has looked at the figures, but from my year at the high shool the a higher percetage of country bairns went on to uni. Far more of the bairns from the country schools went on to owning their own companies than Lerwick bairns, in short on the surface a country primary education seems to be better than lerwick primary education.

 

Or is it, I have a sneaky feeling that the Hostel gives a bairn a sense of independance and cammeradery that a Lerwick bairn never gets.

 

So I'm all for the country primaries but I also believe that life in the hostel is also very benificial for a kid brought up in blissfull issolation for the first eleven years of their lives.

Most of us are not forced to live in a remote area, we choose to do so because we like the lifestyle, we want our children to grow up in that environment.

 

Along with the lifestyle advantages come some disadvantages, So when you choose this lifestyle, accept the reality of the sittuation and don't moan when the rest of us think that your lifestyle is something that the rest of us cannot afoard.

(forgive my spelling I went to bells brae) :lol: :lol:

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The point that smaller scools benefit younger bairns is well made and does, from the little I've read at least, seem to be well supported in principle, internationally.

 

The question has to be asked though; what do we mean by small? Sorry if this sounds like semantic nonsense, but often the wider world's interpretation of 'small' is Shetland's definition of 'large'.

 

In Unst, for example, the arguements over the closure of the Uyeasound school hinged to a large extent on the benefits of small school education. By mainland standards, however, Baltasound school, to which the bairns were to be moved, is deemed as small.

 

Is there not a point at which small can be too small? Unavoidable, I know on Papa or Foula, etc but is there a case for creating greater opportunities for socialisation by amalgamating small schools, with falling roles, where this doesn't incur huge round trips for the pupils? I'd say yes.

 

As to cost; it's a moot point. Wrapping up a couple of small primaries is going to save so little money that in terms of the SIC's overall budget, it's meaningless. Teachers will follow the bairns to new schools or take relatively costly early retirement packages. The buildings remain SIC property and still incur a maintenance cost. All you save are the cleaners wages.

 

Taking a general position on this is almost impossible - other than the position that parents are the best arbiters of how their kids should be educated.

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http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/news_03_2008/xrender3.jpg[/img]

Just had a wee deek at the pictures on the shetland news of the design of the new school. do you think the person dressing the designs has ever been to shetland? I'd give those trees about 2minutes.

It looks very similar to Leith Academy to me or the interior like that of the Scottish Parliament building. Thoughts of the Community Collage in Wilt (Tom Sharpe) spring to mind with all that glass.

 

Anyone been to see the bit in the museum?

 

Those "kids" in the pictures really look like your average toonie 12year old.

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aa skuls throo shaetlan ir essential! closin Scallawa fur example wid be a disaster! kin yu imagine da choas an troubl upo da streets o muddy bay at denner tyms! lerook kin herdly cope wi da bairns hit his as is. i fur wan wid refuse tae pit me bairn tae a skul dats mist likly no gain tae ge da best education is da clasess wid be bigger. whit aboot aa dis green hus gassess an dat? how muckle pollution an how mony buses wid yu need tae run?

hers da myst logical, big a decent size skul fyr joost a bit mare den needed i.e. 900? no bloody 1200!!

an if wir cooncil wid tak alook at how dir wurkirs is fleecin dem den dars extra mony tae pit taewerds education!! i.e. da iddir day whin i kam bak fae da coop i past da N.A.F.C. whar tae me surprise wis 7!!! coonty vans parkt up, i watchd as 1 man got intae each van! 2 o da vans parkt up at port ertir abun da college yundir, 1 man steppit oot o each van (procceeded tae tak twa days tae fix twa r tre tiles), at denner tym da men got intae dir vans an hayd dir denner separately! an buggerd aff hame at da bak o fowir!(bath vans nivir moved fur ony reason ony o da twa days)..how mony thoosands o wir tax mony is pumpt intae dis providin each worker wi dir ain van!?! i dunna kaen o ony iddir company dat supplies vechicles and lets dir workers feece dem(wis) in sic a wy!

hits a buckl o shyt an needs sorted!

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There's a strong feeling that the existing smaller schools are providing a better education.

Would there be support to increase the numbers of schools in Shetland, to cut average pupil numbers for everybody? Should the long term plan be to replace the larger schools with smaller ones?

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Is it usually the case that new schools are built by local authorities? How much support is the SIC getting from the government for the new AHS?

 

As far as I'm aware, relatively few local authorities are in the same (fortunate) position as the SIC in being able to afford to build new schools - hence the reason why many of them have gone down the track of Public Private Partnerships in recent years. I might be wrong but I didn't think any of the capital costs of the new AHS were being funded by the government.

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Like Shetlander said in the previous post most of the Schools which are being built outside of Shetland are being built through Public Private Partnerships due to the local authorities not having the money to construct the buildings they require. For example in Aberdeen there is a Public Private Partnership which is building and maintaining 3-5 new schools which the city council required.

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I've just had a really wacky idea ...

 

Why don't the new Anderson High School and the Mareel get together and build one massive building?

 

The high school is rarely used at night and I would think that would be when the music venue would be more viable.

 

The cinema could double up as a lecture hall.

 

The combined build costs would surely be a lot less, and the building would be used day and night...

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I went from Bell's Brae to a small rural school (50ish pupils) and hated it. It's fine to say that more time is available for each pupil in a smaller school but the education is only as good as the teacher. In a larger school, if you get a lousy teacher, you only have to endure them for a year. In many rural schools there several classes taught together. I had the misfortune of having two rubbish teachers. One for P3 and 4, the other for P5,6 and 7. Five years of sub-standard education left me at a disadvantage for secondary school. Luckily, I went to one of the Junior High schools which was absolutely fantastic.

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I note a couple of people have asked the question about who is paying for the AHS and perhaps also the new Midyell school. Just now the Council is going through a very comprehensive process regarding the options for Bluemull sound fixed links or ferries etc. They have to go through a mandatory process if they want the money from the Scottish exec to build new infrasructure whatever it is. The costs there are likely to be lower than the AHS and they defietly need outside funding to do it. Why could not an options appraisal type of proposal be used to decide what we need in way of a new AHS. This type of process always brings up the what would be desireable and what is neccessary. As usual the council have gone for a very costly option, the fact that the architects are probably as usual on a percentage of costs of course has nothing to do with it.

 

If the council do want to make savings in the education budget then all aspects of education should be looked at including the cost of new buildings. If we didn't have the oil reserves we would have to find another route for this statutory provision. It would in my opinion be better to keep the oil reserves to be used for non statutory provision and thus a bit more restraint would hopefully be shown when ordering up new schools and the like.

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I've just had a really wacky idea ...

 

Why don't the new Anderson High School and the Mareel get together and build one massive building?

 

The high school is rarely used at night and I would think that would be when the music venue would be more viable.

 

The cinema could double up as a lecture hall.

 

The combined build costs would surely be a lot less, and the building would be used day and night...

 

Did our most newly elected councillor not propose a similar idea? I'm sure i read that somewhere. T

he more I think about it, the more i warm to the idea. As long as it didn't disrupt the teaching in the new high school could there be any objections? If it would save costs then i would support the idea.

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