School consultations and proposals

Skipness Primary School consultation update - 25 August 2022

Following the decision of the Community Services Committee on 25th August 2022 to approve the proposal to close Skipness Primary School, the Council informed Scottish Ministers of this decision in accordance with Section 15 (2) of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.

Details for submitting representations to Scottish Ministers are as follows:

By email - schoolclosure@gov.scot 
By post - The Scottish Government, School Infrastructure Unit, 2A (South Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

The deadline for making representations to Scottish Ministers is 14th September 2022 (3 weeks from decision date).

Argyll and Bute Council’s Community Services Committee considered the findings of the statutory consultation on the future of Skipness Primary School at its meeting on 25th August 2022 and approved implementation of the proposal to permanently discontinue education provision at Skipness Primary School and extend the catchment area of Tarbert Primary School to include the current catchment area of Skipness Primary School with effect from 1st December 2022.

The Council is satisfied that implementation of the proposal is the best solution to address the underlying reasons for its formulation, namely:

  • Skipness Primary School has been mothballed since September 2016.
  • The school roll is very low and not predicted to rise in the near future.
  • The annual cost of the mothballing of the building is £1,293.
  • Along with several other rural councils, Argyll and Bute is facing increasing challenges in recruiting staff. At the time of publication of the Consultation Report, there were 8.49fte (full time equivalent) vacancies for teachers in Argyll and Bute.
  • Whilst the school is mothballed, the building is deteriorating with limited budgets for maintenance.

The Council is satisfied that implementation of the proposal will allow children to have access to increased learning opportunities, wider experiences and better socialisation through being part of a larger school. The report produced by Education Scotland as part of the consultation process identifies clear educational benefits for current and future pupils living in the Skipness area.

The current number of children within the Skipness Primary School catchment area is insufficient to make the school viable. If the school were to remain mothballed it would involve a significant annual capital expense which is a continuing drain on the Council’s resources. Implementation of the proposal will assist the Council to deliver ‘Best Value’ through making more efficient and effective use of its resources – including staffing resources as the Council continue to tackle the increasing challenge of recruiting teaching staff. 

This notice is to inform interested parties regarding the decision made at the Community Services Committee on 25th August 2022 to approve the proposal to close Skipness Primary School with an implementation date of 1st December 2022. This notice is available in accordance with Section 11A(3) of the Act. 

Community Services Committee agenda – 25th August 2022

Skipness Primary School consultation - August 2022

On 12th March 2020, Argyll and Bute Council’s Community Services Committee agreed that a consultation with all stakeholders be undertaken on the proposal to close Skipness Primary School, zone pupils to Tarbert Primary School and realign the catchment area of Tarbert Primary School to include that of Skipness Primary School.

Argyll and Bute Council has undertaken this consultation seeking views on the proposal, under the terms of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 (“the Act”). The consultation paper can be viewed here:

Skipness Primary Consultation Report 

A decision on this proposal will be made by the Council’s Community Services Committee at their meeting on Thursday 25th August 2022. An update on the decision made in regard to this proposal at this meeting of the Community Services Committee will be made available here.

Skipness Primary School consultation - March 2020

Argyll and Bute Council is seeking views on a proposal that education provision at Skipness Primary School be discontinued with effect from 1st December 2022.

It is proposed to close Skipness Primary School, zone pupils to Tarbert Primary School and realign its catchment area.

On 12th March 2020, Argyll and Bute Council’s Community Services Committee agreed that a consultation with all stakeholders be undertaken on the proposal.  This  will be undertaken under the terms of the Schools (Consultation)(Scotland) Act 2010 (“the Act”).

You can read the proposal documents here:

The consultation period started on 19th March 2019 and end on 23rd December 2021. Written representations must be received by this date in order to be taken into account.

Update - November 2021

Notice of public meeting on the Proposal for closure - Skipness Primary School -  Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 

You will have received previous communications regarding the extension of the ongoing consultation for the proposed closure of Skipness Primary School, which has been extended until 23rd December 2021.

The extension of the consultation period was due to Covid-19 regulations that did not permit us to hold a public meeting in regards to Skipness Primary School. Due to the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions we are now able to invite you to attend a public meeting on the above Proposal. The meeting was held onr:

Wednesday 10th November 2021, 6pm at Skipness Village Hall.

A copy of the note of the presentation from the public meeting is available on request, please contact ArgyllHouseReception@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Please note that the consultation remains open until 23rd December 2021 and it is still possible to submit written consultation responses in the meantime.

Full details of the consultation is available electronically using the links above.

Or, let us know what you think by writing to:

Education Services
School Consultations
Argyll & Bute Council
Argyll House
Alexandra Parade
Dunoon PA23 8AJ

Update – November 2021

Notice of correction on the Proposal for closure - Skipness Primary School -

Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010                              

Due to Covid-19 restrictions on the holding of a public meeting and the extended timeframe of consultation on the Proposal, it has resulted a necessary correction to the Proposal paper. The Proposal states that:

  • It is proposed that education provision at Skipness Primary School be discontinued with effect from 28th October 2020.

I would like to make you aware of the correction of the date of 28th October 2020 at all points stated in the Proposal paper to be replaced with 1st December 2022.

The content of the Proposal paper still stands as written other than the change to the proposed effective date.

Please note that the consultation remains open until 23rd December 2021 and it is still possible to submit written consultation responses in the meantime.

Full details of the consultation is available electronically using the links above.

Or, let us know what you think by writing to:

Education Services

School Consultations

Argyll & Bute Council

Argyll House

Alexandra Parade

Dunoon     

PA23 8AJ

Update - December 2020

In response to the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the Council’s Business Continuity Committee previously met on 16th April 2020 to discuss business during the pandemic, and agreed to extend the statutory consultation exercise in relation to the proposal to close Skipness Primary School until 31st August 2020 and to cancel the public meeting scheduled for 6th May 2020 to be rescheduled to a new date.  Following the agreement on 16th April, the Council’s Community Services Committee agreed on 27th August 2020 to extend the consultation period further until 18th December 2020, again due to the pandemic.

Subsequently, due to a continuation of Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions, the Council’s Community Services Committee have agreed at their meeting on 8th December 2020 to extend the consultation period further, until May 31st 2021.  This is now the last day of the consultation period for the proposal and is the period within which written representations must be received by the authority for them to be taken into account.  The public meeting will be rearranged to take place when the UK/Scottish Government restrictions on public assemblies are relaxed to permit it. Notification of the rearranged public meeting will be distributed to all relevant consultees in due course.

Please note that the consultation remains open and it is still possible to submit written consultation responses in the meantime.

 

Update - April 2020

In response to the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the Council’s Business Continuity Committee met on 16th April to discuss business during the pandemic.  

With the public meeting set for 6th May 2020, the Committee agreed to officers’ proposals to extend the current six week statutory consultation exercise with regard to the proposal to close Skipness Primary School and to re-schedule the public meeting when the Covid-19 situation subsides.

The Committee agreed to extend the current consultation period, due to end on 15th May 2020, to 31st August 2020 and that the public meeting scheduled for 6th May 2020 is cancelled with a new date to be established once the current UK/Scottish Government restrictions on public assemblies are either lifted or relaxed.  Notification of the rearranged public meeting will be distributed to all relevant consultees in due course.

Please also note that the consultation remains open and it is still possible to submit written consultation responses in the meantime. 

Read the letter regarding the extension of the Skipness Primary School consultation here

Archived School consultations - 2019

Ardchattan Primary School

Following the decision of the Community Services Committee on 5th September 2019 to approve the proposal to close Ardchattan Primary School, the Council informed Scottish Ministers of this decision in accordance with Section 15 (2) of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010. 

 Scottish Ministers conclude that having reviewed the Council’s Proposal Paper and Consultation Report, they consider that the Council have fulfilled their obligations under the 2010 Act and consequently have decided not to issue a call-in notice for this proposal. 

 Education provision has therefore be discontinued from Ardchattan Primary School as of 31st October 2019.  

Ashfield Primary School

Following the decision of the Community Services Committee on 5th September 2019 to approve the proposal to close Ashfield Primary School, the Council informed Scottish Ministers of this decision in accordance with Section 15 (2) of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010. 

 Scottish Ministers conclude that having reviewed the Council’s Proposal Paper and Consultation Report, they consider that the Council have fulfilled their obligations under the 2010 Act and consequently have decided not to issue a call-in notice for this proposal. 

 Education provision has therefore be discontinued from Ashfield Primary School as of 31st October 2019. 

Rezoning of St Columba’s Primary School

Following the decision of the Community Services Committee on 5th September 2019 approving the rezoning of St Columba’s Primary School, the catchment area of St Columba’s Primary School will be rezoned to match the current mainland catchment area for Oban High School, with effect from 6th October 2019.