Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Committee Agrees Review Of Highland School Estate

18th January 2010

The Highland Council's Education Culture and Sport Committee has agreed to review its school estate, which includes 183 primary schools; 29 secondary schools and 3 special schools.

The review aims to improve education provision for Highland pupils by:-

maximising opportunities for moving pupils from poor to better quality school buildings;

making most efficient use of available funding; and

addressing issues relating to demographic change.

It will take account of the educational impact of any change; community impact of any change; distance from one school to another in any change relating to amalgamation; distance from the furthest point of catchment areas to proposed receiving school in any amalgamation proposal; travel time; current and projected school roll; economic impact; operational capacity of schools under review; percentage occupancy of schools under review; and transport.

Because of the enormity of the task, an external team will be engaged to prepare the initial proposals; the statutory consultation process; and the drawing up and reporting of recommendations for Members' consideration.

Members were advised that since 2003, the number of primary school pupils has fallen from 18,000 to 16,820. In the secondary sector the figures have remained relatively static over the same period. There are significant numbers of schools with very low percentage occupancy rates.

Another concern is the condition of many schools. 25% of the category "C" schools in Scotland - those deemed to be in a poor condition - are in Highland. These total 112 schools.

Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of the Education Culture and Sport Committee, noted that the Scottish Government has committed to provide 66% of the funding required to address the fabric deficiencies at Wick High School. However, the Council had been unsuccessful in its most recent bid for a funding contribution for the replacement of primary schools in the Fort William and East Ross areas.

He said: "At a time of diminishing funding in the public sector, it is difficult to see how the fabric and suitability improvements required in the Highlands can be addressed either through Government resources or through the Council's revenue, maintenance and capital expenditure programmes.

"This major review is crucial in providing better provision for our pupils and staff and get the best return for our spending."

Terms of reference for the review will be agreed by the committee later in the year.


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Leader Of Highland Council Speaks After Budget Process LeaksThumbnail for article : Leader Of Highland Council Speaks After Budget Process Leaks
Leader of the Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has moved to reassure communities about forthcoming budget decisions.   She said: "No decisions will be made until the Council meets on 15 February.  
Highland Council Revises Budget Figures But Still Anticipates Big CutsThumbnail for article : Highland Council Revises Budget Figures But Still Anticipates Big Cuts
At Highland Council work has been ongoing for some months to prepare a Revenue and Capital Budget for 2018/19 and beyond, with the anticipation of a significant cut to available funds.   The Scottish Government's proposed grant settlement was announced on 14 December 2017.  
Highland Residents To Benefit From Pioneering Fithomes Thanks To £3m City-region Deal WindfallThumbnail for article : Highland Residents To Benefit From Pioneering Fithomes Thanks To £3m City-region Deal Windfall
Around £3 million of funding has been agreed for a ground-breaking Highland project that could transform the lives of people with complex health needs as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal.   The business case for the ‘FitHome' assisted living project was approved in November last year with £3m funding from the Scottish Government.  
The staggering true scale of council job cutsThumbnail for article : The staggering true scale of council job cuts
An article in the Press and Journal today 9th January 2018 highlights the cuts in staffing levels across Scottish councils with Highland being one of the highest.   In 2009 Highland had 9953 Full-time Equivalent Staff and in 2017 it had dropped by 21% to 7838.  
Highland Businesses Urged To Be On Scam Alert
Highland Council Trading Standards team has recently seen an increase in scams targeting Highland businesses.   The most common scams reported by businesses relate to marketing and publishing but other frauds such as those involving demands for payment for unsolicited goods sent to businesses (such as ink cartridges which were never ordered) are also on the rise.  
Permanent Extension To Blue Badge Scheme CriteriaThumbnail for article : Permanent Extension To Blue Badge Scheme Criteria
Cognitive improvements to be included in Blue Badge scheme The disabled person's parking badge pilot, which was launched in April 2016, has been made permanent by the Scottish Government.   The eligibility criteria were revised and extended under a pilot to allow carers and relatives of people who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to apply for a disabled person's parking badge, provided they meet the criteria.  
Stay safe with New Year sales advice from Trading Standards
People looking to pick up a New Year bargain in the sales on the internet, by mail order or on the high street are being encouraged by The Highland Council's Trading Standards team to be aware of their consumer rights and to stay safe online from scams and fake websites that try to dupe inexperienced online shoppers trying to buy a bargain.   Consumers have extra protection when they shop online.  
Scottish Government rules out ‘tourist tax' measures
The British Hospitality Association secured a major victory today (21 December2017) as the Scottish Government confirmed that any plans for a ‘tourist tax' in Edinburgh - or any other Scottish cities - are firmly off the table.  The BHA has been campaigning consistently for over six years against the implementation of any such additional and uncompetitive tax and is delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised our reservations.  
Employees compensated following change to recycling contract
Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Steve Barron said: "The Council is continuing to do all it can to support employees who lost their jobs following the change in contract for the processing of recycled waste.   Evanton-based William Munro Construction laid off the staff after Highland Council transferred a recycling contract.  
Food business fined for food safety rules after ignoring previous warning
The Highland Council has successfully prosecuted a food business after discovering unsafe hygiene practices in the transportation of food.   An investigation by officers of the Council's Environmental Health Team discovered that N E Meats Ltd of Newcastle had been transporting and delivering foods from the North of England to the Highlands without any temperature control measures.  

[Printer Friendly Version]