Tomorrow morning – Friday 19th April – the report from the Commission on the Delivery of Rural Education is to be published, following a presentation at 10.00 at 1000-1100 hours at the Town House in Inverness.
The Scottish Government will be responding to it later in the morning.
The Commission was established in the summer of 2011, jointly by Education Secretary, Michael Russell MSP and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities [COSLA].
It’s Chair, Sheriff David Sutherland, will present the findings of the group on how the delivery of education in rural Scotland could be improved.
During its work, the Commission was additionally charged with rewriting the 2010 Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act.
There is no mention of this in the advance notice of the publication of the report tomorrow – yet it was a substantial task.
This absence of mention may indicate a retreat of some kind to be passed over swiftly tomorrow – or a radical new legislative move by the Education Secretary.
This last possibility is not at all unlikely in the aftermath of the Education Secretary’s defeat by Western Isles Council on issues central to this law, first at Judicial Review, under Lord Brailsford and then under Lady Paton at his own Appeal.
We have published on both of these lucid and powerful judicial opinions. What they had to say is likely to require an approach to the 2010 Schools Act beyond both the capability and the responsibilities with which the Commission had been tasked. We will learn the situation tomorrow.
The Scottish Government and COSLA will respond to the report later in the morning.
The Commission’s report has been awaited with growing impatience and will be received widely with substantial and informed interest.