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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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I would like to ask those councillors who voted to keep Sandness and Skerries Secondary open where they would suggest finding the kind of savings this would have achieved. God help the sanity of the Council officials who time and time again come up with ideas for savings at the request of members (and face criticism from the public, the local press and councillors when their recommendations reach the council chamber) only to have them thrown back in their face.

 

Yes yesterdays decision is a victory for the people of Skerries and Sandness, but in my opinion it shows no real foresight in terms of the long term financial health of the Council. It seems that even the newly elected Council is unable to bite the bullet when it comes to making the tough but necessary decisions to make the kind of savings we and they all know have to be made. Its just a shame that the foresight displayed by the likes of councillors Wishart, Manson, Cluness and Fullerton didn't extend to others when it came to making the decision at the end of the day.

 

As was so well put by Allan Wishart on Radio Shetland last night, Shetland is slowly sleepwalking into a financial nightmare and unless cuts like these are made now, those that will have to be made in the future will have even more serious repercussions. Everyone in Shetland needs to realise the kind of financial predicament the Council is in, to shoulder those cuts and to learn that the level of public service provision they have enjoyed over the last few decades just simply isn't sustainable anymore.

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It is a popular misconseption that there is a school in Skerries with just one pupil attending and all this money could be saved by shutting the Skerries Secondary School, when in actual fact it is the same buildings as the primary school uses so the only savings would be the teachers salary.

The building will still be being used so it will still have to be heated and maintained and all the assosiated costs will still be there.

I don't know how much the travel and hostel expenses are but it wouldn't be far away from the figure saved by shutting the secondary department.

 

Not quite. The cost quoted in the SIC report (available on their website - and apparently verified by the headteacher in Skerries) is £80,056 to run the secondary department. Taking off the costs associated with educating the single pupil at the AHS, the Council would save £70,130 in the long term if it was closed.

 

Nonsensical when the average cost of educating a secondary pupil in Shetland is almost 8 times less than it currently is in Skerries.

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Its very simple really- vote for something bad (in the eyes of your consituents) and your political career is over.

 

I mean you only had to listen to Josie Simpson on da wireless last night.

 

Don't close the most uneconomic school in the world because its on my turf, - but we really have to cuts costs!

 

The way its looking, I reckon we will have twenty years of spend, spend spend, (not on development or investment in industry), but on excesses in education, social care, ferries etc to keep peope employed within the councils sphere of influnce and because it is easier for councillors to vote for spending, rather than cuts.

 

When the money has all gone, the polulation will collapse and all we will be left with are a few staff at the arts trust...................

 

'Mareel'

 

We cant afford to keep our schools open, but spend £10 million quid on a new hall. Surely it won't happen.

 

You couldn't make it up!!

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i thought that it was terrible that the westside coonciler florence grain vote for the westside school to be closed, what kind of o coonciler is that?

 

Here we go - a prime example of how the system works.

 

SIC has to cut costs asap or they are bankrupt.

 

When an opportunity to cut costs comes up, ad someone votes for it- they are not popular.

 

My guess is that she is going to retire at the next elections, so she will now have a free reign to cut costs wherever possible.

 

If she was not intending to retire, then her career would be over as far as Sandness folk were concerned.

 

Simple!

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Personally, I think that the lad should be travelling to the hostel like every other child from remote parts of Shetland who wants a secondary education. It doesn't make sense to have secondary level education provided locally in this case, I agree. Sandness primary is an entirely different matter however.

 

Having said that, it's laughable that people are worried about saving £80k on a school (and I don't think that that figure is realistic; 80k for the entire primary/secondary perhaps), but quite happily spend upwards of £1 million just investigating whether a bridge is feasible; or bickering back and forth with other Shetland bodies. How about the tens of thousands being spent to send councillors on 'fact finding' trips to the Bahamas? Or on taxis? If you're looking for savings, there are many other opportunities before closing schools becomes cost effective and beneficial to Shetland.

 

It would save money to fire every second council employee too, but would that really be good for Shetland?

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Least it would be money that would be saved every year so over time would be a huge saving.

Would it really be saved though? There will be knock-on effects, for sure.

 

How much would it cost Shetland, overall, to allow the outlying communities to die out and for everyone to move closer to the town? I'm not talking strictly financially but also culturally, and socially. It's not just about the bottom line.

 

If we start chopping off our fingers to save money on gloves, it wont be long before we can no longer scratch our own ass.

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Least it would be money that would be saved every year so over time would be a huge saving.

Would it really be saved though? There will be knock-on effects, for sure.

 

How bad has it been for the South Mainland now that Quarff school has gone? Cunningsburgh has proved to be an excellent school and if anything the savings made by cutting the school has meant that the standard of education has seemingly risen in that area. Perhaps it is due to the head teacher, perhaps it is due to the better resources obtained through the economies of scale. Personally I don't know, but it would be interesting to hear from parents who were affected and expressed their irritation in the ballot box - I wonder if they feel the same now? Anyone know the answer?

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Having lived in both areas I can say that South Mainland is very different from Sandness in terms of accessibility and infrastructure. Removing a school from Sandness would be a significant dent to the community. Removing a school from Quarff is not in the same ball-park at all; neither in terms of impact to the community, nor effect on the children. In practical terms, Walls is much further from Sandness than Cunningsburgh is from Quarff.

 

Have you even seen the Sandness road? Upgrade that first, then talk about moving small children along it twice a day, potentially in bad weather.

 

Which is more cost effective and practical: Upgrading the road, or keeping an existing school?

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Have you even seen the Sandness road? Upgrade that first, then talk about moving small children along it twice a day, potentially in bad weather.

 

Odd though that it is considered just fine to send nursery age kids to the nursery at Happyhansel, but not the older ones. Surely they use the same route with the same weather? I do agree though that the Sandness road can be a touch exciting at times - less though than some of the roads that are supposed to be straighter, safer, etc with pimped Saxos hurtling down the wrong carriageways.

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