Home   News   Article

Rural Highland school parents determined to have ‘constructive’ meeting with politicians after months of campaigning


By Iona M.J. MacDonald

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.



Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Ullapool High School, one of the four schools in the campaign. Picture: Iona M.J. MacDonald.
Ullapool High School, one of the four schools in the campaign. Picture: Iona M.J. MacDonald.

Parents are determined to have a “constructive” meeting with leading politicians this week, after months of campaigning for better provision in four rural schools in the west Highlands.

Last February saw the publication of an open letter titled Save Our Rural Schools, addressed to leader of Highland Council Raymond Bremner and Scottish education secretary Jenny Gilruth.

The letter was sent by parents of pupils at Ullapool, Gairloch, Kinlochbervie and Farr High Schools, calling for a meeting to discuss the “dire state” of the buildings.

Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth is set to meet with the Save Our Rural Schools campaigners.
Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth is set to meet with the Save Our Rural Schools campaigners.

After months of campaigning and amassing over 900 signatures on the open letter, parents are set to finally meet with Ms Gilruth online, this Thursday.

However, it remains unclear whether Councillor Bremner will also attende the meeting, despite being invited by the education secretary.

Raymond Bremner. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Raymond Bremner. Picture: James Mackenzie.

The Save Our Rural Schools letter bluntly claimed in blunt terms that rural schools were “failing to provide a basic curriculum” due to unavailability of core subjects, under-staffing and insufficient funding that was “taking its toll” on the wellbeing of pupils, teachers and the livelihoods of remote communities.

Parents behind the campaign said: “We are looking forward to a constructive meeting and pleased to have secured the time with Jenny Gilruth.”

READ MORE ON THE SAVE OUR RURAL SCHOOLS CAMPAIGN:

•Ullapool High School pupil shares 'detrimental' reality behind virtual learning

•Ullapool rural education campaigners demand end to 'buck passing'

•West Highland parents say their high schools "are beyond breaking point"

•Ullapool and Gairloch schools' crisis: Education Secretary responds to concerns

Fiona Mackenzie, co-chair of Gairloch High parent council and one of the campaigners behind Save Our Rural Schools. Picture: Iona MacDonald.
Fiona Mackenzie, co-chair of Gairloch High parent council and one of the campaigners behind Save Our Rural Schools. Picture: Iona MacDonald.

Ahead of the meeting, the campaigners also highlighted what they want from the meeting including:

• An agreement to offer additional resources for schools with less than 210 pupils.

• An agreement to looking into a minimum teaching provision, so that rural schools can deliver the core curriculum offered nationally.

• Reverting back to the ‘based on need’ principle for pupils with Additional Support Needs (ASN), so that they are all assessed and given the support they need to access education.

• A promise to look into making temporary teaching contracts permanent.

• A promise to make teacher relocation packages more attractive and sustainable, as well as looking into providing affordable housing for teachers.

• A promise that high school staff, or high school parent council representatives will be on the working group for decisions made for digital school provision.

Cllr Bremner was contacted for confirmation on his attendance at the meeting.


Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More