Local councillors back closure of north Skye primary schools

BY MICHAEL RUSSELL

michael.russell@whfp.co.uk

Skye councillors will be voting for the closure of three schools in the north of the island, it was confirmed this week at a ward forum meeting in Portree.

Responding to questions from Edinbane Parent Council member Tim Spencer, Councillor Drew Millar read out a short statement on behalf of the four Skye members of Highland Council stating that they were “supportive of the principle of consultation that is being put forward with regard to the new school in Dunvegan”.

When pressed by Mr Spencer, Mr Millar said that all four councillors supported the council’s proposals.

Area education manager Norma Young confirmed that a final report on the review of the Portree High School Associated School Group will go before the adult and children’s service committee on 12th September and that the full council will vote on the proposal to close Edinbane, Knockbreck and Struan primary schools on 18th December.

“Can we rely on our councillors to give us a voice at these meet­ings?” asked Mr Spencer.

Mr Millar said local parents’ concerns were expressed at previous meetings. He also denied that the council viewed opposition to the proposals from Edinbane as a “minor glitch in proceeedings”

Mr Spencer also maintained that the new school in Dunvegan, which will have a capacity for 100 pupils, risked being a “white elephant” as most of the pupils who do not attend their local school do not go to Dunvegan. “The council will have to refuse a lot of placing requests or the new school will be empty,” he added

Mr Spencer asked why a meeting was not being held for each of the schools that are being closed down. In reply, Ms Young said the council was doing what it was required to do to comply with legislation — namely, holding a single meeting, in Dunvegan, on 16th June.