Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Education chiefs under fire over Highland schools shake-up

Post Thumbnail

Highland education chiefs have been accused of “completely ignoring” the challenges of the far north in their plans to shake-up the running of local schools.

North, west and central Sutherland councillor Linda Munro has written an open letter to local authority leader Margaret Davidson about the “wholly inadequate” proposals.

The Press and Journal revealed on Friday that head teachers in the Highlands could be asked to start running up to five schools at the same time from this summer.

The local authority is poised to begin rolling out the controversial new “cluster” model from August – and is drawing up plans to eventually introduce it at every school.

Councillors will be asked to approve changes affecting the first 38 secondaries and primaries at an education committee meeting on Thursday.

In her letter, Mrs Munro said parents of pupils at affected schools in Kinlochbervie and Bonar Bridge were “content” with the changes proposed.

However, she added that while she supported the principle of the reforms, she could not accept plans to leave one head teacher running Farr High School, Farr Primary, Altnaharra Primary and Tongue Primary.

She said: “The report completely ignores the extreme fragility and geographical challenges of delivering services in north and west Sutherland despite research in England making clear the smaller, more remote schools face challenges within this system.

“Challenges that will be considerably magnified in the proposed Highland model as management of nursery schools are also to be included in the every growing list of duties to be undertaken by one head teacher and one deputy head teacher, with an allocation principal teachers, but that role hasn’t yet been agreed by the unions.”

She added: “I ask again that you have the Highland Council education service reconsider the management allocation for the Farr ASG (associated schools group) spread over 513sq miles, with five schools and three nursery schools and its outstanding and growing work with high level ASN (additional support needs) pupils spanning across two counties.”

Mrs Davidson said she would discuss the issue with the education committee chairman and head of the service today, before responding to Mrs Munro.

Committee chairman Drew Millar said last week that the new model would help solve chronic teacher recruitment problems, enable head teachers to spend less time in classrooms, and potentially save small, rural schools from closure.

Already a subscriber? Sign in