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Education report

In March last year the rural schools commission came to Lerwick to take evidence with (from left) rural economy professor Bill Slee, commission convener Sheriff David Sutherland and Scottish Borders Council education director Glenn Rodgers. Photo Shetland News

THE FUTURE of Shetland’s plans to reform its school estate will become clearer after Friday when the Scottish government appointed rural schools commission publishes its final report.

The commission was set up in July 2011 by education secretary Mike Russell and was initially only to meet for one year, during which there was a moratorium on all school closures.

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As a result a consultation on closing Olnafirth primary school as part of the council’s Blueprint for Education was put on hold.

Shetland Islands Council was critical of the move, saying they did not like central government interfering with local decision making.

Two Shetland faces appeared on the commission in the form of Aith parent Bob Cree Hay for the National Parents Forum and Shetland MSYP Emily Shaw representing young folk.

The commission’s final report will be launched in Inverness on Friday by its chairman Sheriff David Sutherland, who will say how they believe education in rural Scotland should be delivered.

SIC children’s services director Helen Budge said they were looking forward to the report being published, saying it could affect the timing of reforms in the isles.

“We need to look at the detail of the report to see how we then take forward our strategy,” she said.

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