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Parents step up campaign to save school

AS THE formal consultation process to close the secondary departments of Scalloway Junior High school gets under way on Monday, parents in Shetland have stepped up their campaign to save secondary education in the Shetland village.

Scalloway school parent council have agreed a plan of action which will include lobbying councillors, attending community council meetings as well as drumming up further support in the village and its surrounding communities.

This follows on from a protest staged by pupils in the village, last month, as well as a Facebook campaign site with almost 2,000 supporters.

In June, Shetland Islands Council decided to enter into formal consultation with the view to close two secondary departments (Scalloway and Skerries) as well as five primary schools: Uyeasound, Burravoe, Sandness, Olnafirth and North Roe.

The council is to start the six week long statutory consultation process with the communities in Scalloway and Skerries on Monday. Pupils would be relocated to the Anderson High school, in Lerwick, should councillors decide to close the schools.

Vice chairman of the Scalloway school parent council, Karen Eunson, said the group was determined to ensure that councillors would understand the strength of feeling in the community.

She added: “Closing Scalloway school does not make sense educationally or financially. The knock-on effects would damage the wider community of the central mainland.

“We would encourage any parents or members of the community who want to save Scalloway school to come along to one of our Wednesday night meetings or to make contact with the parent council through the school office.”

Shetland Islands Council is to announce two public meetings to discuss the proposals. They will take place on 20 September between 7pm and 9pm in the Skerries hall and on 21 September between 7pm and 9pm in the Scalloway school.

There will also be two public meetings in the Anderson High school to discuss the impact of new pupils attending the Lerwick school. These will be held on 15 and 22 September between 7pm and 9pm.

Responses to the consultation process should be sent to Shetland Islands Council no later than 10 October.