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Letters / Watch out for school closure proposals

It has come to my attention that consultation reports on the proposed closure of the Yell and Whalsay secondary schools will be published on 19 May.

The proposals are to either close the schools or discontinue 4th year education and have the bairns do 4th year at the Anderson High School.

These reports will be considered by the Education and Families Committee at 10am on Thursday, 9 June, a recommendation made to the SIC and then a decision taken by them at 2pm of the same day.

I fervently hope Hayfield House staff have seen sense and that the conclusion of these reports will be to recommend that councillors abandon these ridiculous proposals, move away from the centralist agenda and recognise the vital role these schools perform in two of our most unique and fragile communities.

I will reserve judgement until the report is published but to quote Dr Jonathan Wills from this week’s Shetland Times (speaking about the Charitable Trust saga); “the public’s involvement decays into mere consultation which, as we know, can often become a charade, better described as notification.”

This view may be widespread but hopefully this time they have actually listened to the case made by respondents to the consultation instead of just pressing on and ignoring them.

If not, Wir Shetland will be prepared to join the fight alongside other interested parties (parent councils, CURE etc) in an effort to prevent the SIC destroying our communities.

Duncan Simpson
Membership Secretary
Wir Shetland