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18/11/13 10:30

Changes to law on school closures

Consultation process to be clarified.

Changes to the law on school closures are to be taken forward by the Scottish Government following the outcome of a public consultation.

The proposed changes to legislation form part of the Scottish Government’s response to the recommendations of the Commission on the Delivery of Rural Education and will ensure the process becomes more transparent, ensuring that parents and communities are better informed and can participate in decision making.

Changes to the law will include clarifying the presumption against closure of rural schools, requiring clear financial information to be set out for a school closure proposal and Ministers will be able to draw on additional advice from Education Scotland when considering closure proposals.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell, said:

“This was a valuable consultation, allowing local authorities, parents, communities and others with an interest in this area to express their views. Responses to the consultation broadly supported the changes to the law proposed by the Scottish Government.

“Our commitment to making these changes to the consultation process for school closures underlines the Government’s belief that education authorities must give extremely careful consideration to a range of matters when bringing forward any closure proposal.

“I am absolutely determined that educational benefit should remain an important part of any proposal – and I am convinced these amendments we will bring forward will ensure this remains central to the decision-making process.”

Background

The analysis and Scottish Government response can be found at the following links:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/11/9850 - analysis

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/11/3312 - response