Http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-17373429 BBC are reporting that Ministers are …

Comment posted on Wstern Isles Judicial Review against Education Secretary now in court by Sandy Longmuir

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-17373429

BBC are reporting that Ministers are giving the rural factors a prominent role in this case. The ruling is going to be very interesting and will give a good idea of how the Act really does apply to places like Argyll.

Recent comments by Sandy Longmuir

  • 2010 Schools Act: Hillhead School, Scottish Ministers’ Wick Determination and the cost of justice
    SRSN are new to this process and we are reading everything we can to get up to speed. We have taken a couple of cases to the point of judicial review under the old Act but have never got this far under the Schools Consultation Act. We are endeavouring to get hold of all of the papers and legal answers given in both the Western Isles and the Angus Council cases. We should have these very soon.
    While we are still learning it has to be said that we have to agree with most people on here who have commented that newsroom has done her homework and that the article appears to be “on the money”.
    The comments about the cost to pursue what should be an open and shut case are particularly apposite. There should not be access to justice only for the rich.
  • Commission for Rural Education, Public Meeting: microblog
    Not only is question 6 in the call for evidence but the following is recommended on the Commission’s website as “helpful” information in considering the call for evidence…

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About/Methodology/UrbanRuralClassification

    David Sutherland’s surprise at Question 6 demonstrates just how useless I was as a Commission member. He was present when I protested that its inclusion was against the agreed minutes of the Commission’s remit. He sided with the Cosla members who wanted it included.
    Later in the same meeting I requested that Aberdeenshire Council supply statistical evidence for their claims of social dysfunction in rural children. They undertook to supply this. No evidence has been supplied and FOI responses indicate that nobody (at least nobody from Aberdeenshire) can remember me asking the question.
    I am obviously so memorable that I may as well not have been there at all.

  • Commission for Rural Education, Public Meeting: microblog
    Obviously I have a personal interest in the reported statement from David Sutherland that the Commission is not looking into redefining the definition of rural schools.

    The reference that will have prompted the audience member is question 6 of the call for evidence of the Commission…

    Q6: Under the Schools Consultation Act, a rural school is defined using statistical data under the Scottish Government’s “Urban Rural Classification”. This divides areas of Scotland into 8 types, depending on the population size of the town or settlement together with the travel time needed to get to a larger town. For the purposes of the Schools Consultation Act, schools in the three rural categories Accessible Rural, Remote Rural and Very Remote Rural are considered to be rural schools. These are all schools in settlements with less than 3,000 people living in them and with different lengths of ‘drive time’ to a bigger town or settlement of more than 10,000 people.

    (a) To what extent do you agree or disagree with the definition of a rural school for the purposes of the Schools Consultation Act?

    Strongly Agree Neither agree Disagree Strongly Don’t know /
    agree nor disagree disagree Not applicable

    (b) Please explain your or suggest any alternative?

    Why ask this question if the Commission are not considering the definition? Status quo of the definition was David Sutherland’s position at the first meeting of the Commission (minuted) but this changed after the intervention of Cosla members at the second meeting. Glad if the above report is correct and that position has changed – again.

  • Commission for Rural Education, Public Meeting: microblog
    Crazy, you just upbeat after meeting Simon? Techroom must have missed his interventions out of the commentary.
  • Commission for Rural Education, Public Meeting: microblog
    Thanks so much Techroom & Newsroom. Would very much like to have been there but this was the next best thing.

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