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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?

    • On original site - Lovers Loan
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    • Clickiman
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    • None of the above
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Here's a hot potato for you. Firstly why are they now planning the new AHS to go at the Knab, when it makes logical and safety sense to put it at Clickimin? Allowing a vast area to be developed for central, scenic housing at the knab?

 

But here's a juicy bit of speculation i've had passed my way. Alledgedly, the new school is being planned around a figure of about 1200 pupils, whilst it's roll is nearer 900, why on earth would that be?

 

 

Until you close Scalloway's secondary department.

 

Leaving lots of empty classrooms.....

 

which could be filled by closing the burra primary and perhaps another nearby? None of which has been officially suggested, yet.

 

So why the extra ±300 places in the new AHS, if not part of a greater plan?

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For an influx of families, a baby boom, or the planned closure of more rural schools, as yet not officially under threat of closure?

 

General population growth I was assuming. It would be odd to build a new school with precisely the capacity of the existing number of pupils. There has to be some room for manouvre and a figure of 33% extra space provides room for growth without being completely outrageous.

 

You could be right with your prediction but this would quickly leave the school at bursting point which, for a brand new school, would be farcical.

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But Shetland's population, as with the rest of Scotland, is in decline. And it's projected to continue that trend.

 

Dunno much about that but I have heard this elsewhere too. Even so, if you are going to the trouble of building a new school, might as well make it large enough to accomodate a few extra rather than run the risk of it being too small; which would be more of a problem.

 

You could be right. I simply don't have the information on this to say either way. Was just my initial hunch because this is what I'd do if I were deciding how large to make a school.

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But Shetland's population, as with the rest of Scotland, is in decline. And it's projected to continue that trend.

 

Dunno much about that but I have heard this elsewhere too. Even so, if you are going to the trouble of building a new school, might as well make it large enough to accomodate a few extra rather than run the risk of it being too small; which would be more of a problem.

 

You could be right. I simply don't have the information on this to say either way. Was just my initial hunch because this is what I'd do if I were deciding how large to make a school.

 

Shetland's population as a whole may be in decline, but apparently there is a population drift into Lerwick. In addition, a shiny new school might attract pupils who would have otherwise gone to the other secondary schools. So there could conceivably be a significant increase in pupil numbers in the future.

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Hooray for commonsense at last. I think da fok fae da contry (how's my Shetlandic spik coming on enoo?) are getting a crappy deal. This could make depopulation of the outer reaches slow down a little.

 

I would love to live in the country, but I just can't. So I am stuck in the town.

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Written by Pete Bevington on the shetland-news.co.uk website. Please view website to see projected images of new build.

 

Anderson High School plans unveiled

 

SHETLAND should not delay building a new school for Lerwick even though it will cost almost £50 million, the islands' vice convener said yesterday (Thursday).

 

The proposed horseshoe shaped school has a price tag of £48 million - Images: Courtesy of Building Design PartnershipFlorence Grains said she had been debating the plan to build a new Anderson High School at The Knab for the past 15 years, and maintaining the existing building in the meantime had been a huge drain on resources.

 

Mrs Grains was speaking as architects unveiled their latest designs for the £48 million school, the most ambitious building project the isles have seen since the Sullom Voe oil terminal..

 

The horseshoe-shaped design will have four floors, sheltering social spaces from the prevailing south westerly winds and incorporating a new unit for people with additional support needs.

 

Arguments have raged over the years about whether the new Anderson High should stay at the Knab or move to the Clickimin site where the islands' main leisure centre stands.

 

As a result the school has fallen behind on the council's overstretched capital programme, while every other school in the isles has been rebuilt or refurbished using the millions which have flowed in from the oil industry.

 

This wealth will allow Shetland Islands Council to construct the new school without having to resort to the unpopular system of private finance initiatives, that tie both sides into long term commitments they would rather avoid.

 

The propsed new school will accessible from The Knab, opposite the Coastguard station.However the council's budget for the new building is only £29 million, which means that either costs will have to be slashed or other capital projects will have to be put on the kind of back burner this school has sat on for such a long time.

 

Mrs Grains said the council had to bite the bullet and agree a design by the middle of next year. "This is the biggest capital project we have ever undertaken but it's for the whole county and it's badly needed," she said.

 

"We started on this 15 years ago and it's a shame for the pupils and staff that it's taken so long. We have to just get on with it and make everyone work hard to get it done rather than spend more and more time and money on maintaining the old building.

 

"My view is the council will have to dig deep and go for it, and that's the view of a number of councillors."

 

If members do back the plans at their next meeting on 13 December the council will enter a "competitive dialogue procedure" with at least three contractors lasting for around six months before final designs can be drawn up next summer.

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  • 3 months later...

So the Council are to postpone making a decision on the first two schools to be considered for closure (Sandness Primary and Skerries Secondary) until the autumn. Maybe the directive has come from Education officials and there are reasonable grounds for doing so. It just seems a bit convenient that autumn is after the election and (no doubt) many of the current councillors who have shied away from making controversial decisions to address the SICs extravagent spending habits in the past will have cleared out by then.

 

10 years must now have passed since school closures were first mooted and warnings were given about Council spending - and here again, the issue has been procrastinated over to the point that it is to be passed to yet another successive Council to have to deal with.

 

Am I just being cynical? Or will delaying the decision be a good thing in the hope that the next lot of councillors will have more backbone than the current lot?

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