Members of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee have considered the implications of the Scottish Government’s proposals for education governance.
The members have agreed to seek views on the proposals through discussions in their communities and local Parent Councils.
The Council has agreed to seek to work with Government, including through CoSLA, the Northern Alliance and other fora in an endeavour to influence the proposals in a more positive and constructive direction.
Chair of the Committee Councillor John Gordon said: “The proposals could remove the important role of local decision-making in education and driving attainment and would reduce the Council’s role to a mere administrator.
“There does not appear to be any evidence that removing governance from local authorities would benefit the attainment of our children. Removing a local, strategic, system approach to education, could put at risk the progress of recent years and disadvantage the children and families most in need of support.
He continued: “From being a pathfinder authority for GIRFEC, we can see that Highland has developed into a prime example of the value of inter-agency and inter-authority collaboration and the difference a local authority strategic approach can make to families and to the life chances of children and young people.”
Former Head Teacher, Councillor John Finlayson added: “Expecting head teachers to be accountable for attainment in their own schools is perfectly reasonable, but to add on the full responsibility for closing the poverty-related attainment gap, when so many factors are beyond their control, would risk making an already demanding job an impossible one. The current integrated services approach based around the GIRFEC model works well and rightly looks to support children’s learning and wellbeing in a holistic way.
“Combine this with the additional bureaucracy associated with direct management and accountability for budgets and you possibly have a recipe for failure and also an additional recruitment problem.”
The meeting report and minutes can be found here.