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School closures

sic school closures

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#166 trowie246

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:16 AM

There are no doubt many people on here who would stay that there should only be one school in Yell, the JHS in Mid Yell, and both Cullivoe primary and Burravoe primary should shut. Mid Yell primary dept has 42 pupils and two teachers.  Cullivoe has 26 pupils and Burravoe has 11 pupils. Travel time would be about 45 mins. which is over the maximum travel time recommended for a primary pupil.

 

Currently the SIC get Grant Aided Expenditure to help run it's rural schools.  This money, as someone has already mentioned, is not ring fenced so basically it is divided up amongst all the schools. The GAE is only for schools with less than 70 pupils and is between £2,500 and £2,900 per pupil depending on the remoteness of the school.

 

If Cullivoe and Burravoe shut it will create a primary dept with 79 pupils, which means the SIC no longer qualify for the GAE, so they lose this money they currently get from the Scottish Government for the two small schools.  Then they will have to employ an extra 2 teachers at Mid Yell because of pupil numbers. Then there's the fact that the new Mid Yell school is not big enough so a portakabin will have to be placed outside the school. Then there's the cost of extra transportation which does not come out of the education budget but is still a cost to the SIC because it comes out of the transport budget.

 

Any "savings" are soon eroded away which leads to the question what is the smallest figure of money which makes it worth while to shut a school?  I personally think that closing Cullivoe and Burravoe might actually cost the SIC money. When a school shuts the children do not disappear they still have to be taught and fed etc so there will be extra costs for the receiving school in resources.

 

As for not having enough money for pens and pencils etc, I have two bairns in secondary and parents are expected to pay for these items and I don't mind doing that.  Our parent council also does fund raising to pay for "extras" in our school  ie. French resources and recorders and music books.  People shouldn't just expect things to be handed to them in times of austerity, if we all share the costs for these items it really doesn't add up to be that much money per family.


Edited by trowie246, 16 October 2013 - 08:18 AM.

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#167 owdwife

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:16 AM

Yes Trowie, I couldn't agree more.

One more thing about these two schools - they actually cost less per pupil than a lot of similar schools that are not under threat. Maybe the council should find out how they do it and pass the information on to other schools.


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#168 shetlander

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:57 AM

Trowie

 

I agree that there are going to be costs associated with closures in the way of staffing, transport, additional supplies, loss of GAE etc but it's not as simple as saying that because there will be additional costs, there will be no savings. Every situation is different in terms of the staffing complement and pupil numbers at the closure proposed and receiving schools, the numbers to be transported, where pupils live and so on. As far as I could tell, the reports on Olnafirth and Bressay took account of the kind of additional costs you mention and still the council will save money. In the case of Scalloway, I've read that the council have actually saved more money than it thought it would despite the additional transport and extra costs that folk claimed would be so high.

 

I’ve thought all along that too much of the debate about closures has been taken up disputing the actual amount of money that will or won’t be saved. If it doesn’t happen already, I’d like to see the Schools Service sitting down with staff and parents at closure proposed schools before any formal consultation starts to at least agree or come to a mutual understanding of how costs are worked out. 

 

And yes, while you are right about the need for 2 more teachers at Mid Yell, the cost of employing them would presumably be less than the cost of employing the 3 teachers (two of whom are headteachers) at Cullivoe and Burravoe at the moment. 


Edited by shetlander, 16 October 2013 - 12:02 PM.


#169 hjasga

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:37 PM

I certainly wouldn't be advocating closure of ALL schools in Yell. My view is that a local primary school is far more important than a local secondary school. Whilst an hour long bus journey is a long time for anybody, I'd rather have secondary pupils do that than primary pupils getting up to the maximum allowable for them (I think 35 minutes at the moment?). Given some of those children will be as young as four it's not unreasonable to suggest some will still be having "accidents" occasionally, which I'm sure will delight the drivers.

 

Our primary schools are run far more efficiently than our secondaries, so I personally wouldn't want to see them jeopardised in order to maintain the secondary school estate.

 

As for learning materials, you make a fair point about pens and pencils already being provided at the parents' expense, however the potential cuts to operating budgets would be far more significant than that. There would be no new text books, no supplies of jotters let alone craft materials, I'm not even sure how schools would pay for things like prelim exam papers. Parents, parent councils and other groups can do their bit to raise money - and it's fantastic when they do - but that will only get harder as the sums required grow. 



#170 JustMe

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:24 AM

Not good having bad information when talking about travel times to Schools.  Cullivoe to Mid Yell school on the secondary pupils bus is 30 mins while from Burravoe to Mid Yell School is 25 mins on the service bus.  So please find genuine ways to argue for these schools to be saved.  But not the condition of the roads.  This applies to secondary pupils as well as other road users and yes they do need major improvements.



#171 crofter

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:20 PM

Not good having bad information when talking about travel times to Schools.  Cullivoe to Mid Yell school on the secondary pupils bus is 30 mins while from Burravoe to Mid Yell School is 25 mins on the service bus.  So please find genuine ways to argue for these schools to be saved.

 

If I remember right, the last time they tried to shut the Burravoe School there was going to be one bus, starting from Westsandwick, going through Ulsta & then Burravoe, then up that track through East Yell so 45 minutes could well be correct.



#172 shetlander

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 06:27 AM

 

Not good having bad information when talking about travel times to Schools.  Cullivoe to Mid Yell school on the secondary pupils bus is 30 mins while from Burravoe to Mid Yell School is 25 mins on the service bus.  So please find genuine ways to argue for these schools to be saved.

 

If I remember right, the last time they tried to shut the Burravoe School there was going to be one bus, starting from Westsandwick, going through Ulsta & then Burravoe, then up that track through East Yell so 45 minutes could well be correct.

 

 

In the last consultation the proposal was for two buses starting from Burravoe - one going up the east road and one going via Ulsta up the west road. According to the report, the maximum travel time would have been 32 minutes.


Edited by shetlander, 18 October 2013 - 06:27 AM.


#173 Biglad

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 07:27 AM

 

Children, teenagers especially, do not necessarily want to spend their entire school life in the same small community and the same peer group.

 

Have you asked my children where they want to spend their school life? Would you like to?

 

 

 

 

Children, teenagers especially, do not necessarily want to spend their entire school life in the same small community and the same peer group.

 

Have you asked my children where they want to spend their school life? Would you like to?

 

I think Staney Dale gave quite a balanced viewpoint there.

 

KairaWRX, have you given you're children enough 'positive' information for them to at least want to maybe give it a go in Lerwick or have you just decided for them?

 

There majority of people my age, who I know that attended the hostels in town regard that years of their lives the best they have experienced. It 'broadened their horizons' is a sentance I hear the most when the closures debate is brought up. Who's to say it won't be the best thing thats happened to you're children or those around you, change is not always for the worst. This wasn't too many years ago so not a lot has changed around Shetland since then.

 

Be glad to hear you're opinion on that Kaira.

 

Cheers


Edited by Biglad, 18 October 2013 - 07:29 AM.

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#174 Islander2013

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:51 AM

First post

 

Really interesting to read all the views and information on the problems effecting the more rural schools of Shetland, for my own family the closing of Aith will effect us alot.

 

Where we live our bairn will have to board in Lerwick, which Im afraid as parents of a young lass at 11yrs old this is not an option for us as a family ( after alot of discussing)

 

If we wanted our bairns to go to boarding school, we would of sent them.. not to be forced into it by the local council and especially not being boarded at some council supplied boarding which will be increasingly filling up with the closures,

 

We had children to bring them up ourselves, not for ' staff members' to supervise them in the week. Our eldest is now away at university as a well balanced , compasionate and intelligent young person. AIth did a fine job with their younger childhood education and so did their upbringing. They are also totally against their younger siblings being taken away from the family all week and is really angered and upset over the possible Aith closure. They wrote a brilliant letter in support, and they could not imagine the travel times local bairns will have to endure from such a young age.

 

11yrs old is just to young for us as a family for our bairn to be away from home all week, and as for the bairns who would need to travel for those distances everyday I was staggered to believe some people think this as acceptable the poor bairns  will be complete zombies.

 

Its just all a complete mess

 

 

Id also like to add about the viewpoints on the boarding, we have to understand every bairn is different, and some may have possible emotional needs more then the next one. Take for instance  a bairn that has gone through care home/foster/adoption etc and now has a settled family home. Do you really think that child now wants to leave all week to go to a council hostel at 11yrs old? Can you even start to imagine how unsettled and devasted that child is feeling at future prospects?

 

You can be isolated living in Lerwick if you do not join in anything, have any hobbies or attend any clubs?  We have an active and fun family life, and our bairns do not wish to be stuck in Lerwick all week!!. believe it or not they are Very happy, well balanced and confident dispite being trapped in the confines of a 'stifling' rural setting apparantly rife with bullying with no where for them to run to! There seems to be a sort of picture painted by some posters on here about how terrible it must be for them living in a rural village and how held back and trapped they are?!  totally ridiculous !!  Every person is different - some may love it some not, just how some children would hate living in larger towns. We have many varied hobbies and attend clubs both in the village, and around the island including Lerwick. My bairns also take great pride helping on the croft, its our way of family life.

 

Their choice, their life, their education... their future - Nobody elses, not even a person on an internet forum or sat in an office who thinks they know other peoples children and family life better then the people involved.


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#175 paulb

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:12 AM

very well put.


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#176 brian.smith

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:39 PM

First post

 

Really interesting to read all the views and information on the problems effecting the more rural schools of Shetland, for my own family the closing of Aith will effect us alot.

 

Where we live our bairn will have to board in Lerwick, which Im afraid as parents of a young lass at 11yrs old this is not an option for us as a family ( after alot of discussing)

 

If we wanted our bairns to go to boarding school, we would of sent them.. not to be forced into it by the local council and especially not being boarded at some council supplied boarding which will be increasingly filling up with the closures,

 

We had children to bring them up ourselves, not for ' staff members' to supervise them in the week. Our eldest is now away at university as a well balanced , compasionate and intelligent young person. AIth did a fine job with their younger childhood education and so did their upbringing. They are also totally against their younger siblings being taken away from the family all week and is really angered and upset over the possible Aith closure. They wrote a brilliant letter in support, and they could not imagine the travel times local bairns will have to endure from such a young age.

 

11yrs old is just to young for us as a family for our bairn to be away from home all week, and as for the bairns who would need to travel for those distances everyday I was staggered to believe some people think this as acceptable the poor bairns  will be complete zombies.

 

Its just all a complete mess

 

 

Id also like to add about the viewpoints on the boarding, we have to understand every bairn is different, and some may have possible emotional needs more then the next one. Take for instance  a bairn that has gone through care home/foster/adoption etc and now has a settled family home. Do you really think that child now wants to leave all week to go to a council hostel at 11yrs old? Can you even start to imagine how unsettled and devasted that child is feeling at future prospects?

 

You can be isolated living in Lerwick if you do not join in anything, have any hobbies or attend any clubs?  We have an active and fun family life, and our bairns do not wish to be stuck in Lerwick all week!!. believe it or not they are Very happy, well balanced and confident dispite being trapped in the confines of a 'stifling' rural setting apparantly rife with bullying with no where for them to run to! There seems to be a sort of picture painted by some posters on here about how terrible it must be for them living in a rural village and how held back and trapped they are?!  totally ridiculous !!  Every person is different - some may love it some not, just how some children would hate living in larger towns. We have many varied hobbies and attend clubs both in the village, and around the island including Lerwick. My bairns also take great pride helping on the croft, its our way of family life.

 

Their choice, their life, their education... their future - Nobody elses, not even a person on an internet forum or sat in an office who thinks they know other peoples children and family life better then the people involved.

Very well said as a parent



#177 madmandy

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 01:12 PM

perhaps its time for parents to start their own school. Free schools do not exist in Scotland but something must be possible. There has to be a way to keep our children where they belong at home and educate them.
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#178 paulb

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 03:49 PM

free schools are not permitted in scotland. the only choice we have is either private or whatever the council provides. as a matter of intrest harrow charges 28k a year per boarder. and the most expensive is 38k. strange that our council can spend more than that for day pupils. 



#179 brian.smith

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 05:52 PM

free schools are not permitted in scotland. the only choice we have is either private or whatever the council provides. as a matter of intrest harrow charges 28k a year per boarder. and the most expensive is 38k. strange that our council can spend more than that for day pupils. 

I dont think it comes down to cost as previously stated Shetland is paid a premium for rural schools. You cannot compare the costs of a private boarding school to that of state education, for one thing the fees may well be 28K but there will be much more payable activity costs are 10% plus uniform etc so the costs are much greater than you have stated



#180 hjasga

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:23 PM

free schools are not permitted in scotland. the only choice we have is either private or whatever the council provides. as a matter of intrest harrow charges 28k a year per boarder. and the most expensive is 38k. strange that our council can spend more than that for day pupils. 

 

It doesn't seem that strange to me; it's a simple numbers game. Harrow has upwards of 800 pupils, so £28k each in that case goes a lot further than the ~£30k per pupil for the 20 at Baltasound, or the ~£60k per pupil for the 2 at Skerries. There are always going to be fixed costs that can only be cut back so far without removing provision entirely. 







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