Rural education commission to visit Argyll and Bute on March 6

The Scottish Government’s Commission on the Delivery of Rural Education is to visit Argyll and Bute for a public meeting early next month.

The meeting will take place at Lochgilphead Joint Campus at 6.30pm on Tuesday, March 6 and all members of the public have been invited to attend, meet the Commission’s members and give their views on rural education in the area.

The Commission, which is chaired by Sheriff David Sutherland, was set up by the Scottish Government last July to look at how education in rural parts of Scotland is working for local people, and at the links between education provision and rural community life.

Argyll and Bute Council’s draft response to the commission’s call for evidence, written by the authority’s executive director for community services, Cleland Sneddon, has already attracted criticism for its suggestion that schools in rural areas should no longer be given special protection when a local authority is considering closing a school.

The commission was established last July, shortly after Argyll and Bute Council halted its own hugely controversial plans to close 11 schools, including North Bute Primary in Port Bannatyne, and merge them with larger neighbours.

The council’s decision was made after education minister Michael Russell told the Scottish Parliament he believed that existing legislation created to protect rural schools was “defective”.