Jump to content

  • Log in with Twitter Log In with LinkedIn Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

With your Shetlink login details, all classifieds, private messages, and invoices are now accessed through the new Njord | Market system. Please see Njord | Market FAQ for more details.

Photo

School closures

sic school closures

  • Please log in to reply
220 replies to this topic

#16 trowie246

trowie246

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 438 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:13 PM

To be more accurate I should say that ALL schools staffing levels depend on pupil numbers. If I mind right the primaries in Lerwick that use streaming of classes have a ratio of 1 teacher to a maximum of 30 pupils.

For rural schools which have composite classes (3 or 4 year mixes) the maximum is 25 pupils.

One teacher can teach up to 19 pupils of all ages (P1 -P7). Beyond 19 pupils the school qualifies for a second teacher.

#17 Rubbernecker

Rubbernecker

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:17 PM

I have had experience of small schools as pupil and parent, none of it happy.
A school the size of Skerries is unviable, and I also think it's harmful to keep children stuck with the same handful of people for the first 16 years of their lives. Education is about growing confidence and social skills, not just exams.
You need to get out in the world and mix. It is usually parents who kid themselves the small school is best, unable to let go. Cliques and fanatics try their best to exert undue influence over small schools.

Baltasound is the other secondary that we should be shutting. Several of the smaller primaries should close, but not all of them made it into the 'blueprint'.

Finance has to be a consideration, it is ridiculous that it shouldn't be. But it is for the education, experience and confidence of the pupils that I would support some of the closure proposals.
  • BigMouth and CrunchieSquirrel like this

#18 Silvercloud

Silvercloud

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 553 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:17 PM

Soooo bigger school = bigger class sizes where is the benefit in that ?

#19 trowie246

trowie246

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 438 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:53 PM

Finance has to be a consideration, it is ridiculous that it shouldn't be. But it is for the education, experience and confidence of the pupils that I would support some of the closure proposals.


Firstly, how much of a saving would you consider to be significant enough for all the upheaval of school closure to communities and pupils to make it worth while? £20,000, £50,000, £100,000 ?

Secondly, you obviously are completely ignorant of what is going on in small schools around Shetland by your last sentence. Our school which has 26 pupils and therefore is not up for closure (this time) is involved in the Comenius project and pupils have just come back from the south of France where they met with teachers and pupils from the 7 different countries which they are in touch with.

Uyeasound primary school which sadly was closed had one of the best HMI reports in Scotland, never mind Shetland. Even though the education there was described as 'sector leading' and there was no doubt that the quality of education was outstanding it wasn't enough to save it.

The agenda here in Shetland is to drastically reduce the school estate. There will be one high school and that will be in Lerwick.

And it isn't all about money as some would have us believe.

#20 Silvercloud

Silvercloud

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 553 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 09:06 PM

If they close Sandwick secondary what are they going to do next which is also up for review Sept ??

The secondary half of the building accommadates the Library,dinner hall,games hall caretakers office ,school offices ,staff room and computer rooms.
You cannot save money by moth balling that part of the school as you still need heat and lighting for the primary dept to use it.

Will they close Dunrossness primary and Cunningsburgh primary and make one super primary out of Sandwick Jnr High ?
This would even more children on longer bus journeys and at what cost?

Shutting Secondary dept at Sandwick would not save any money so long term the only way save money is to make a super primary in few years timealthough Helen Budge denies this is being considered.

#21 trowie246

trowie246

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 438 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 09:28 PM

It was thought at one time that super primaries were the way they were going but it seems unlikely now that the health centre is moving into the Scalloway secondary dept. It is possible that they have realised that primary education in Shetland is actually relatively cheap but they still want to get rid of the few primary schools that they see as easy targets.

Someone said that the savings they made from Scalloway weren't from closing the secondary dept but by making the AHS more viable/economical by boosting pupil numbers.

Brae High school is flying under the radar. But for how much longer?

#22 Spinner72

Spinner72

    Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPip
  • 1971 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 09:47 PM

^^ Broadly speaking yes, but the reasoning is that if some schools aren't closed, then they won't be able to fully staff them and thus the childrens education would suffer.


Can you explain what you mean here?

In all rural primary schools staffing levels depend on pupil numbers. For example, at the moment there are 2 primary teachers in Mid Yell for 43 pupils and one teacher in Burravoe Primary schoool. By closing Burravoe 13 pupils transfer to Mid Yell, bringing it up to a 3 teacher school, therefore more or less cancelling out any savings and perhaps making it more expensive when you add in transport costs.


It's not what I mean, its the way some of the education people seem to be thinking, or at least the spin they are putting on it.

What you point out is exactly where it falls down, because until now (there may be something more recent I am not aware of) proposed closures do not, in real terms, save anything and indeed can often prove to cost more to the council as a whole.

#23 Ghostrider

Ghostrider

    1crankymofo

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9315 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 09:51 PM

I have had experience of small schools as pupil and parent, none of it happy.
A school the size of Skerries is unviable, and I also think it's harmful to keep children stuck with the same handful of people for the first 16 years of their lives. Education is about growing confidence and social skills, not just exams.
You need to get out in the world and mix. It is usually parents who kid themselves the small school is best, unable to let go. Cliques and fanatics try their best to exert undue influence over small schools.

Baltasound is the other secondary that we should be shutting. Several of the smaller primaries should close, but not all of them made it into the 'blueprint'.

Finance has to be a consideration, it is ridiculous that it shouldn't be. But it is for the education, experience and confidence of the pupils that I would support some of the closure proposals.


I experienced schools from small to the largest in Shetland as a pupil, and the only time I found them remotely tolerable was in the smallest. The bigger the school, the more suffocating, stifling and boring I found it.

I'm not saying you're wrong, certainly some kids thrive in the larger school enviornment, I'm just pointing out its not something the applies across the board to every pupil. There will always be winners and losers in the small school vs. large school debate whichever way it swings. For me all larger schools succeeded in doing was to teach me far too many bad habits, that the more individuals you collected together in one place the further the levels of collective intelligence, common sense and respect fell, and to completely scunner me of the principles and methods of organised formal education.

#24 Silvercloud

Silvercloud

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 553 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 09:57 PM

Hi,

From my experience of education down South, a mixture of very small schools and very large with my own children, I totally agree with Ghostrider post above.

#25 Rubbernecker

Rubbernecker

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 09:59 PM

Well put, Ghostrider. Perhaps if I'd had different experience I would feel different, but I wish to hell somebody had come and moved us all to the big school, in my tortured youth.

#26 trowie246

trowie246

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 438 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 10:06 PM

^^^ Agreed.

And although you mention Skerries as having potential savings overall, I disagree on this point.

In theory, by closing Skerries Secondary dept, you could actually cost the SIC money.

This is largely hypothetical (as I am relying on my memory which is not always reliable) but I did read the socio-economic report done on Skerries and I remember that a large number of people living there, especially the women, have two or more jobs.

So for arguments sake, one woman not only works in the community owned salmon, which helps bring in money to the Shetland economy, but home helps and cares for the 82 year old living up the road. She has two children, one in primary, one in secondary. The older child has additional support needs. Her husband also works in the salmon. The secondary department closes. They have to leave the isle for the sake of their eldest son. The salmon industry is now struggling and forced to close. Other workers have to leave the isle in search of other work. The elderly lady has to leave the isle and move into a care home. She has no money of her own so this is costing the SIC money.

Loss of income into the Shetland wide community. An added cost for care of the elderly.

Please note that the above is hypothetical and might not happen in reality. But in these fragile communities the very smallest change can have wide ranging consequences not just for the isle but for the whole of Shetland.
  • thomason146 likes this

#27 Silvercloud

Silvercloud

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 553 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 10:24 PM

What going to happen to all the head teachers from the "closed " secondary schools are they going get demoted to teacher level or what ??
or are there other more favourable posts going to be made available later??

Teachers are obviously gagged from talking about school closures, so they cannot stand up and be counted to defend their school should they wish too.

#28 trowie246

trowie246

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 438 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 10:35 PM

I imagine the head teachers and also class teachers who have permanent contracts will be offered redundancy packages. Anyone on a temporary contract will be up the creek without a paddle once their contract runs out and the jobs run out.

I understood that Sandwick JH asked for their consultation to be brought forward so they got a chance of the jobs.

But the dept doesn't close until the new AHS is built. So how does that work? Or have I got that wrong?

#29 shetlandpeat

shetlandpeat

    Re-member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5360 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 10:45 PM

This will have to be over seen by the Unions. There are processes to go through, with the GOV looking to reduce the consultation period by half, in the case of redundancies, and penalising those who fail to take what is originally offered by the way of pay outs it will be an interesting debate.

#30 unlinkedstudent

unlinkedstudent

    Account closed at user's request

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3645 posts

Posted 27 May 2013 - 10:59 PM

This will have to be over seen by the Unions.


No, it won't. Unions can be involved in negotiations as part of the consultation process but they most certainly don't oversee the process, you might be of the opinion that unions are in charge but hate to break it to ya, they ain't. They might attempt to influence the outcome but isn't it the case that an employer must consult with the workforce and if need be, that doesn't even have to involve the unions? Besides, not all employees are necessarily union members.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: sic, school closures