I’m not sure of the outward placing request …

Comment posted Candidate response to Argyll Rural Schools Network by gd.

I’m not sure of the outward placing request numbers of JLB and can only speak from the perspective of a parent with children at Hermitage Primary. I know Hermitage has always had a number of primary 1 placing requests from outwith the catchment area, because of it’s reputation and from what I’ve heard this year’s future primary 1 is in line with the norm. But it is the huge influx of JLB pupils to Hermitage at all levels over the past 6 months that is particularly alarming. A new primary 6 class had to be created at Hermitage last term to cope with the additional students and seemingly JLB had a composite primary 2/3 class that is no more. Just from chatting to mums at the school gates, I know of 20 kids who have transferred to Hermitage from JLB and I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Thankfully Hermitage is a well run school and seems to be coping with the challenge at the moment. But that is purely down to the outstanding leadership of the head teacher.
The fact that a fairly large Helensburgh school is failing so spectacularly, clearly conflicts with Argyll & Bute’s theory that bigger is better.

gd also commented

  • Sadly it’s not just the pupils of rural schools who are treated with disregard by Argyll & Bute Council. John Logie Baird Primary is a school in crisis. There has been no head teacher for some time, despite advertising the post 9 months ago. As a result the school is in a complete downward spiral. This has resulted in a mass exodus of pupils to other schools, which seem to be overwhelmed, with Hermitage Primary having to create a whole new class to cope. I’m astonished that the area’s councillor, Ellen Morton, in her capacity as spokesperson for education and lifelong learning has not intervened.

Recent comments by gd

  • Dame Ellen invites…
    Shock horror. Hold the front page – “leaving do organised for colleague.” Such emails are sent the length and breadth of the country everyday.
  • Devo Plus: enter the Trojan Horse
    Kats Comments
    At 85p an hour you shouldn’t be paying any tax. Time to get yourself a new accountant and then you won’t have to rant like a loon about where your taxes are best spent.
    I too am self employed, with all the drawbacks of no sick pay, annual leave etc. But I recognise that paying tax is to contribute to many different aspects of society. Some benefit me personally, others don’t. But that’s the price we pay to be part of society.
    To saddle students with tuition fees is completely unfair. Especially when the Westminster baby boomers, who introduced the loans benifited greatly from free university tuition, with many claiming student grants and housing benefit. Personally I had to work until 1 am every night (fortunately at more than 85p an hour) to pay the rent during my 7 year course and still had a huge student loan following graduation, that took many years to pay off.
  • Waitrose has £325k on table for Tuesday planning hearing – and opposition rolls in
    I’d like to see the money used to directly improve the retailers units / frontages. I’ve attached a link to the merchant city initiative below, which completely transformed that area.

    http://glasgowmerchantcity.net/regeneration.html

    I’m pleased Waitrose got their approval. Had Waitrose been rejected, then all that would have happened is a continuation of the current decline of the town centre. That decline is due to the apathy of a lot of shop keepers. Either the shopkeepers take this opportunity to get their fair share of mitigation money to improve the service that they provide. Or they sell up and allow the next generation of shopkeepers to take over. I’m sure like me, the majority of Helensburgh shoppers do not want to soley shop in Waitrose. To me the Waitrose development has always been about a high end outlet recognising the potential and wanting to invest in our town, which will hopefully be a catalyst for further investment in the town centre.

  • Waitrose has £325k on table for Tuesday planning hearing – and opposition rolls in
    I’m sure they won’t be put off by the mitigation payment. In all probability there will be negotiations over the purchase price between drum & waitrose. The application was made under two names – Waitrose & Wandering Wild (aka drum). It is highly likely that there is an agreement between drum and waitrose, where waitrose purchase the land subject to planning approval. This allows them to attach caveats re planning gain / mitigation payments. It will probably be drum who take a hit on the price. They’ll be aware that without planning approval their land is worthless. I actually think planning gain is a good thing. Just as long as it reaches the intended parties and not the council coffers, which sadly often happens.
  • Waitrose has £325k on table for Tuesday planning hearing – and opposition rolls in
    I could be wrong. But I think they made an exception for Henry Bros at Colgrain, which was greenbelt outwith the local development plan. That seemed strange at the time. Probably a large brown envelope involved there.

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14 Responses to I’m not sure of the outward placing request …

  1. Sorry to disagree with Cllr Donald Kelly but the Argyll & Bute Independent Councillors Group (NOT THE ALLIANCE OF INDEPENDENTS) has also taken a totally consistent view regarding the retention of rural schools since the Group was fist set up. Many readers will recall that my support for rural schools cost me dearly, both politically and financially.

    So Cllr Kelly’s statement that “Argyll First has been the only group on the Council to take a totally consistent view regarding the retention of rural scools” is incorrect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • They have indeed – and this applies to the stance and voting of both Councillor Freeman and Councillor Gordon Chalmers of Mull, before as well as after they came together to form the Argyll and Bute Independent Councillors Group.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Sadly it’s not just the pupils of rural schools who are treated with disregard by Argyll & Bute Council. John Logie Baird Primary is a school in crisis. There has been no head teacher for some time, despite advertising the post 9 months ago. As a result the school is in a complete downward spiral. This has resulted in a mass exodus of pupils to other schools, which seem to be overwhelmed, with Hermitage Primary having to create a whole new class to cope. I’m astonished that the area’s councillor, Ellen Morton, in her capacity as spokesperson for education and lifelong learning has not intervened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • An interesting tale gd – out of interest do you know the approximate number of outward placement requests in this 9 month period compared to a similar period of time in previous years.

      One thing ARSN advocates is that the Council act quickly when outward placement requests start to rise disproportionately and potentially threaten the sustainability of a school. This doesn’t mean they should jump to consider school closure as a first step – rather that they should take action to try and identify and correct the root cause – in essence take the necessary action to avoid closure rather than promote closure.

      That a school in one of the urban territories of A&B is facing this makes for interesting reading as it will be more difficult for the Council to promote closure of a school in an area where there is more than a ‘pesky little community’ to consider.

      I am also a little surprised that Cllr Morton seems unwilling to take action on this – not because of any inherent decency but more because of the potential for political fall out which could imapct upon her and her fellow Helensburgh Lib Dems.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. I have to comment that Rosneath does not require more social housing for families, it already has plenty but does urgently require purpose build housing for the elderly. We are awaiting the start of a housing development by link housing yet Rosneath with a healthy and growing population was still short listed for school closure. A change in rural housing policy which gives priority to housing locals (instead of importing unemployed from other areas) so that our youngsters are not forced to move away would be a start…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. I’m not sure of the outward placing request numbers of JLB and can only speak from the perspective of a parent with children at Hermitage Primary. I know Hermitage has always had a number of primary 1 placing requests from outwith the catchment area, because of it’s reputation and from what I’ve heard this year’s future primary 1 is in line with the norm. But it is the huge influx of JLB pupils to Hermitage at all levels over the past 6 months that is particularly alarming. A new primary 6 class had to be created at Hermitage last term to cope with the additional students and seemingly JLB had a composite primary 2/3 class that is no more. Just from chatting to mums at the school gates, I know of 20 kids who have transferred to Hermitage from JLB and I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Thankfully Hermitage is a well run school and seems to be coping with the challenge at the moment. But that is purely down to the outstanding leadership of the head teacher.
    The fact that a fairly large Helensburgh school is failing so spectacularly, clearly conflicts with Argyll & Bute’s theory that bigger is better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. So, to get back to the topic, Cllr Freeman of the Argyll & Bute Independent Councillors Group* are you calling Cllr Totnald** Kelly a liar? Or is he just mistaken? (again)

    * All two of you, what vote against each other on things like the budget and therefore cancel each other out…

    **The Galelic pronunciation ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Scruff – that’s a wee secret ;)

    Want me to tell you when the interviews are?

    And the folks being interviewed??

    And the interview panel???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Scruff, don’t believe everything you read on these pages mate. Even Newise, who writes half the rubbish, doesn’t do that.

    Have a good evening :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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