I’d ask you to post the evidence that …

Comment posted Council to review primary education provision for Dunoon by Islay for ever.

I’d ask you to post the evidence that pupils do better “socially” in smaller schools . I cannot accept that a primary school with only five pupils is a better environment socially than a larger school . I say that as someone who attended a primary school which had at times as few as eleven pupils .

Islay for ever also commented

  • I am aware there are some benefits from being educated in a small school, what I am suggesting for West Kintyre would result in a school of about 30 pupils in the heart of the area it serves .
    Imagine if you would Anne , that Glenbrekerie School near Southend was open with 4 or 5 pupils , surely the sensible move would be to unite the few pupils with Southend School and still enjoy the benefits of a small school but not TOO small ?
    Infact that is what happened and I don’t hear anyone suggesting Glenbrekerie be reopened.
  • I’m not claiming to speak for anyone , merely putting forward my view on the way forward for primary educational provision in West Kintyre, which I have found has support among some parents .
    Given we have a new council and they are reviewing school provision in parts of Argyll , I don’t think that’s too unreasonable .
    I don’t consider the provision of a brand new school “negative” , nor do I imagine any parent or taxpayer would expect the council to continue to own empty school buildings indefinitely .
    I have suggested a use for one of the school buildings which would bring employment to the area .
    It appears that my opponents here cannot offer any constructive suggestions at all, clinging to the false belief that their partially occupied schools are safe and there is no problem
  • You may have come across ‘groupspeak’ . I find it easier to get parents’ views when speaking to them individually .
    Do you not see a problem in class sizes of one or two ?
    Many adults, who experienced small classes, express the view that they would have much preferred to have been educated in bigger groups particularly when it came to team activities such as football .
    I am not one of those people blindly looking to close small rural schools , I just happen to believe school children in West Kintyre could benefit hugely from three schools becoming one .
  • I am in regular contact with parents from all three communities and I find that while having an attachment to the local school , having in many cases gone to it themselves ,they are the first people to recognise that having their child in a class of one or two is not good for the child or sustainable .
    Regarding trends , you have only to look what has happened over the last 30 years in each school and to look at the number of infants and babies around the area to see there is unlikely, to put it mildly , to be any upswing in numbers
    Cost is important but my main concern is the education the children receive .
  • Why not have a review of provision in West Kintyre also ? Clachan primary school is down to 5 pupils , Glenbarr and Rhunahaorine both very small in numbers .
    A brand new school at Tayinloan village to replace the three ,complete with nursery facilities would surely be the most cost effective solution and be better for the children .
    Planning services for Kintyre and Islay could be devolved to one of the redundant school buildings and the other two sold .

Recent comments by Islay for ever

  • Argyll and the Isles Secrets Collection: Southend and Dunaverty – St Columba, footprints, the Keil Caves and the Bruce
    I took some visitors to see the footprints and cave this summer and they were all of the opinion that the information available at the site was lamentable and were glad to have a ‘local ‘ on hand to explain the significance of the area .
    There is an urgent need for more information boards , better signposting and access together with a linking of other local sights of significance , Dunaverty Rock and Mull of Kintyre . Funding spent promoting tourism in Southend would pay dividends many times over .
  • SNP lose another Argyll & Bute councillor
    Richard do you mean the No Thanks team ? Can you inform us here if there are any not removed ?
  • SNP irresponsibly fuelling dangerous inflammation when Scotland needs calm
    Like many I am happy that Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom .
    Let us remind ourselves for a moment of some facts . A record turnout of voters in all areas of Scotland saw over 2 million people vote to remain part of the UK .55% of voters backed the UK, a winning margin of 10% , almost half a million votes more than those wanting to break up the country.
    The behaviour of the SNP before , during and since the referendum is offensive to the majority of Scots . I agree with Newsroom that they appear to be trying to provoke civil unrest , some of us are questioning if the police have done all they should to contain the thuggery .
    It is clear to me that nationalists have been exposed as not being democrats and that the only way to defeat them is for those of us who oppose them to unite behind Unionist candidates best placed to defeat them and work together towards the elimination of the SNP from scottish politics .
  • SNP lose another Argyll & Bute councillor
    The co operation among those who believe in the continuation of the United Kingdom in Kintyre over these last months has been astonishing and heart warming .
    Many people in Kintyre are disgusted by the antics of the SNP over the last two years .
    Expect a stormy by election with a large turnout and a massive anti SNP vote .
  • Salmond departure only hope for healing in Scotland – successor cannot be Sturgeon
    The news today just gets better and better . Thank you Scotland . The people have spoken and the nats can’t take it .

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32 Responses to I’d ask you to post the evidence that …

  1. Why not have a review of provision in West Kintyre also ? Clachan primary school is down to 5 pupils , Glenbarr and Rhunahaorine both very small in numbers .
    A brand new school at Tayinloan village to replace the three ,complete with nursery facilities would surely be the most cost effective solution and be better for the children .
    Planning services for Kintyre and Islay could be devolved to one of the redundant school buildings and the other two sold .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Why don’t you ask the parents and communities of Clachan, Rhunahaorine and Glenbarr what they think and see if they actually want such an option and since I know that at least one of these villages is currently undergoing a regeneration, perhaps their numbers are only a temporary dip.

      What seems like a good idea on paper, does not always relate to reality. School closures are not as black and white as this makes out. It is not that simple.

      You know it might even cost more to run that one school than keeping the others open? Its possible.

      As I said, not that simple.

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      • I am in regular contact with parents from all three communities and I find that while having an attachment to the local school , having in many cases gone to it themselves ,they are the first people to recognise that having their child in a class of one or two is not good for the child or sustainable .
        Regarding trends , you have only to look what has happened over the last 30 years in each school and to look at the number of infants and babies around the area to see there is unlikely, to put it mildly , to be any upswing in numbers
        Cost is important but my main concern is the education the children receive .

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • The education they are receiving will probably be superb, if that is truly what is bothering you.

          Have these parents you have spoken to complained at the sizes of their schools? and have they mentioned an amalgamation?

          I just find it a bit contradictory as I also talk to parents from these areas after becoming friends whilst battling the council against closure of their schools and a bunch of them are also ARSN members.

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          • You may have come across ‘groupspeak’ . I find it easier to get parents’ views when speaking to them individually .
            Do you not see a problem in class sizes of one or two ?
            Many adults, who experienced small classes, express the view that they would have much preferred to have been educated in bigger groups particularly when it came to team activities such as football .
            I am not one of those people blindly looking to close small rural schools , I just happen to believe school children in West Kintyre could benefit hugely from three schools becoming one .

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Glad to hear you aren’t taking the blanket approach of closing schools just because they might be experiencing a dip in numbers.

            I have experienced both “groupspeak” and individual speak and no-one has indicated they feel there is an issue.

            As I say, school closures are a complicated issue and there are other solutions to having peer interaction when appropriate that does not involve closing the village school.

            If all parents and communities agree after exploring all the alternatives that amalgamation is the only way forward, then that is their choice, but it is a huge decision that will have long term effects for more than the current school rolls.

            I find it difficult to believe that a little over a year after being in the trenches that all of these people have had a complete turnaround on their views which they voiced so vehemently and clearly.

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          • As a parent of two children who attend Rhunahaorine I am more than happy with the standard of Education that they receive in such a small school.. After fighting a long campaign to keep all our rural schools open I would just like to say that I am not one of said parents that Islay for ever has spoken too.

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  2. Glad to see sense has prevailed and the whole thing is being reviewed. This will be a relief to many of the parent campaigners who were appalled at the amalgamated campus and felt that their voices were not being heard.

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  3. Before any consultation is even started “Islay forever” has already worked out his/her plans to sell off the schools, and then has the temerity to tell us that his/her concerns are purely about the educational needs of the kids.

    Aye, right.

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  4. Ok, so ife speaks for us? I tell you that not one of these three schools mentioned by him has parents contemplating any amalgamations. Crazy has the right of it purely and simply these communities fought hard for their schools and would do again.
    These schools and their communities are striving to build their areas for future sustainability and no ammount of negativity will dampen that enthusiasm…..So there!!

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    • I’m not claiming to speak for anyone , merely putting forward my view on the way forward for primary educational provision in West Kintyre, which I have found has support among some parents .
      Given we have a new council and they are reviewing school provision in parts of Argyll , I don’t think that’s too unreasonable .
      I don’t consider the provision of a brand new school “negative” , nor do I imagine any parent or taxpayer would expect the council to continue to own empty school buildings indefinitely .
      I have suggested a use for one of the school buildings which would bring employment to the area .
      It appears that my opponents here cannot offer any constructive suggestions at all, clinging to the false belief that their partially occupied schools are safe and there is no problem

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. I would have more time for the likes of “Islay Forever” if he/she would use their real name. As the parent of two of the children at Clachan School I am not aware of anyone from Islay being in regular contact with parents in Clachan nor am I aware of any parent who thinks amalgamating the three schools would be a good idea. It is time to put energy into regenerating our rural communities and working towards growth rather than managing a long decline into retirement villages.

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  6. As I post this comment there are 13 responses – no mention of Dunoon in any of those posts, Council to review primary education for Dunoon, as reported by FA.
    How strange!!!

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    • Not sure what you mean. Dunoon is in the headline and in the text. If you mean Dunoon primary school, we did not mention any of the three specific schools in the frame (Dunoon, St Muns and Kirn) – with the addition now of Clyde Cottage Nursery.

      Nothing strange here – the key point is that the entire primary education provision for Dunoon is to be reviewed, with nothing excluded and all possibilities included.

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      • Sorry newsroom, my mistake.Have edited original post.

        The point I was making was not about headline or text, rather the fact that others had diverted off topic.

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  7. Gus Mackay – its not so strange really. When someone uses the story about the Dunoon school consultation to resurrect, even partially, the Sneddon philosophy of school management, it is hardly surprising that hackles rise.

    Regarding the Dunoon schools consultation, I would like to remind those who are directly involved, that during the course of the recent attempts to eradicate Argyll’s village schools, evidence emerged that primary age children did better, educationally and socially, in the smaller schools rather than the bigger ones. So don’t be seduced by the prospect of a big bright new all bells and whistles building. Its not the building which makes a school what it is.

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  8. Ife, this question has,as its basis, the assumption that society can only be found with people who share the same date of manufacture. Why not height, weight, ethnic origin, intelligence quotient or learning style? It’s such a meaningless and arbitrary measure and, for instance, divided my own daughter from a cousin who is only days older.

    Small schools provide a much wider society as they tend to be keyed into the whole community. The kids learn a host of different skills from that and aren’t limited to a group whose main characteristic may be an obsession with Justin B.

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    • I am aware there are some benefits from being educated in a small school, what I am suggesting for West Kintyre would result in a school of about 30 pupils in the heart of the area it serves .
      Imagine if you would Anne , that Glenbrekerie School near Southend was open with 4 or 5 pupils , surely the sensible move would be to unite the few pupils with Southend School and still enjoy the benefits of a small school but not TOO small ?
      Infact that is what happened and I don’t hear anyone suggesting Glenbrekerie be reopened.

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  9. There seems to be a view that small schools are better for children. Many people have taken up the fight to save them. Would I be right to think that up front money, those schools take more money to run per child than a large school. Taking the argument forward, should the people objecting to the small schools being closed be campaigning on a bigger inclusive argument that in the long term, small schools are the way forward. The council allocates a budget for education, to run the small schools, will that take money away from the children in the large schools. In my view education is well under funded, should I support a group of people fighting to save their small schools for their children and not fighting for more money to educate all children to a standard which gives them all a more equatable education. The majority may think education is well funded, and your postcode should dictates how much is spent on a child’s education.

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    • Valid points for discussion John and will need cool heads after the row ove the last couple of years school closure debates. There is no one size fits all and you will never please everyone. the administration will i am sure tread carefully on this and Roddy is well placed to assess what happens in relationto any school discusions.

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  10. Ife, neither I nor my colleagues across Argyll & Bute have ever said that every school should stay open. What we’ve said is that a rural school needs to be looked at in broader terms than the 0.001p that all the region’s other pupils might gain annually from closure. There is much more to it than the negative impact on our kids. To cut a long debate short, once parents have moved out or failed to move in you may well be left with an ageing community which is not supported because younger family members live elsewhere. Ultimately it could be far more costly to allow that decline than to support and work with a more balanced and viable community.

    The difference between school campaigners and the closure proponents is that the former has hope and strives for a brighter future. To settle for perpetual decline seems neglectful and self defeating.

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    • Anne you are making many valid points, and I think Phill is making a very good point when he said “There is no one size fits all and you will never please everyone”. Before we start closing and building new schools should we be looking at the medium term of change we will all be facing. Should all schools offer cooked meals, which are cooked on site, very hot subject in Argyll. What is education, passing of exams or learning to live in a community and listening to other peoples views.

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    • It is also worth pointing out that, in the case of A&B, it wouldn’t have even resulted in a 0.001p gain per pupil. The Council perpetuated a myth that the miscalculated savings that closure would generate would result in the money being reinvested in education thus raising standards for all pupils. The truth was actually that none of the savings were going to be reinvested in education, they were just going to be treated as savings (and probably badged as an ‘efficiency saving.’

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  11. Regarding a previous comment – “an obsession with Sneddon”.

    Sneddon has control of the schools.

    Sneddon has proved, repeatedly, to be dishonest and destructive.

    Therefore, so long as he remains in the employ of Argyll and Bute Council, any and all proposals regarding changes to the provision of educational facilities in Argyll should be examined with the utmost skepticism.

    Simples.

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  12. “S.White says:
    July 9, 2012 at 3:05 am
    Sneddon has control of the schools.”

    Can I suggest that there are a number of people who would disagree with this statement? Sneddon is an employee of ours, as are the councillors who are further up the pecking order than him!

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  13. Barmore 2 – So you think that the council held a meeting at which they decided to make an utter balls-up of the Martha’s meals issue (which made us the laughing stock of the world)?

    I don’t think so, somehow.

    As long as Loudon, Sneddon, & Co are in Kilmory they will do exactly as they please, and we will have a regular supply of fiascoes. The solution is simple.

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  14. p.s. – and when are we going to have a resolution of the dysfunctional communications department, whose chief is still under suspension on full pay at our expense, and is directly under the control of Sally Loudon?

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  15. As soon as you take small rural schools in isolation from their community they look economically unviable. Conversely, if you take small isolated rural schools in context with their community they become economically essential. The viability of communities is set around four or five key social assets: school, village hall, shop/PO, Hotel/Pub, Church. We can debate order of importance, but in my view and in that of many who live in rural communities, the school is central and foremost to ensuring that rural communities survive.

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