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Parents put their faith in ministers

SHETLAND Islands Council ratified Tuesday’s decision to close the secondary department of Scalloway junior high school when it met on Wednesday morning.
 
No attempt was made to overturn the decision which had been taken by 13 votes to nine.
 
Scalloway councillor Iris Hawkins told her fellow councillors the community felt it had a good chance of having the decision overturned by Scottish ministers.
 
The Scottish government has six weeks to call in the matter, if they feel the SIC has not made an adequate case for closure on educational grounds and complied with new legislation on shutting schools.
 
The decision to keep the tiny secondary department on the island of Skerries open was also confirmed by the full council.
 
At Wednesday’s meeting, council convener Sandy Cluness defended his decision to vote for keeping both Scalloway and Skerries secondary departments open.
 
“I believe that what I did was in the best interest of the people of Skerries and Scalloway,” the convener said to a round of applause from a few parents who attended this morning’s meeting.
 
Challenged by councillor Jonathan Wills, Mr Cluness added that the council’s school services had his fullest confidence.
 
Meanwhile Scalloway parent council said it had identified flaws, inaccuracies and omissions at every stage of the council’s handling of the consultation process.
 
Spokeswoman Karen Eunson said: “We have pointed these out in our submissions but these have not been addressed.

“We will therefore be contacting the Scottish government to ask them to call in this decision on the grounds of failure to comply with the requirements of the act and the special provisions for rural schools contained within it.
 
“We have every reason to believe that our request will be successful.”

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