Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Questioning Secondary School Options

I'm calling for clarification of East Lothian Council's "pre-consultation" on possible types of new secondary school provision in Musselburgh, including a so-called "super school" for over 2,500 students.
Musselburgh Grammar School
 
An online questionnaire about the proposals opened on 24 June and closes on 31 July. By contrast any formal consultation must conform to the Schools Consultation Act, and must last a minimum of six weeks, including at least 30 school days.
 
Like other local parents I have a keen interest in what will happen to our secondary schooling and our community, especially with the pressure for more housebuilding in the area. I think East Lothian Council are handling this issue badly by rushing out a questionnaire during the school holidays.
 
Such major changes to schooling require careful consideration, so I am concerned that in this questionnaire we are expected to pick an option and state a view when this is not a formal consultation being carried out in line with legislation. What weight will the results of this online survey carry?
 
Parents, students and other members of the community deserve to be presented with more research into the pros and cons of the various options. At the moment all we have to go on from the council is 3 sides of A4. That's not good enough for the future of our children and our community.
 
I would urge the council to clarify the confusion surrounding this so-called pre-consultation and indicate when we can expect more detailed information and opportunity for discussion.