Jamie McGrigor, Highlands & Islands Conservative MSP, has urged parents and communities in the Highlands & Islands to make their views known on the future of rural primary schools to the Scottish Government’s Commission on Rural Education. Jamie made the call when speaking in the Scottish Parliament this morning in a debate on attainment in schools where he focused his remarks on rural schools. Jamie also praised the pupils of Clachan Primary School in Argyll, a small rural primary school, for recently being named Best Green School in Scotland 2011.
Speaking in the debate, Jamie said:
“ I was pleased to receive recently the call for evidence from the Commission on Rural Education which I sent on to the many dozens of parents in Argyll & Bute who had contacted me over the past year as the Council there proposed various rural schools closure programmes that outraged so many people. I would urge all those in my region of the Highlands & Islands, and indeed elsewhere across Scotland, who value rural primary schools and who have opinions on how we can retain and protect them to make their views known to the Commission before the close of the call for evidence on the 12th January next year. This is a very important opportunity for rural communities to have their say about a key part of their infrastructure.
“ If we accept the evidence that the impact of primary school attainment plays a much greater role in students’ potential 16+ than their secondary school education then I am very clear that there are many excellent examples of the work that goes on in rural primary schools that can be replicated elsewhere in the schools system.”
Referring to Clachan Primary School in Argyll Jamie said:
“ I would want to commend the pupils of Clachan Primary school in Argyll, a small rural primary that was threatened with closure recently, on their success in being named the joint winner of the prestigious Best Green School in Scotland award 2011- this shows that best practice can exist in the smallest school as well as those larger ones.”