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21 April 2014
Meeting re North Walls Community School
North Walls Community School Provision of Secondary Education. Meeting on Friday 25th April at the school,starting at 6:45pm Chaired by James Stockan In 2010 all of the S1/2 pupils at North Walls opted to transfer to either Stromness Academy or Kirkwall Grammar School for their secondary education. The reasons given at the time included access to a wider range of opportunities, larger peer group and more social networking opportunities. In each of the subsequent years, pupils have had the same range of choices (daily travel to either Stromness of Kirkwall; taking up residence at Papdale Halls) when making the transition from P7 to S1. While consideration to undertaking formal consultation over the future (and possible closure) of the secondary department at the school began, this stopped when the Council agreed to imposing a moratorium on school closures. The moratorium was introduced pending the outcome of the work of the Rural Schools Commission. The report (published in April 2013) made a series of recommendations on the delivery of education in rural areas. Some legislative changes have been introduced this year as part of the Children and Young People Act. For North Walls the current position is that secondary provision is ‘mothballed’. While this is a potentially helpful state (and arguably better than being ‘closed’) it leaves the school community feeling perpetually ‘uncertain’ about the future. The purpose of the meeting is to explore whether criteria can be found for re-establishing secondaryprovision at the school. (On Flotta, a similar proposalhas been made with respect to primary school provision, which was mothballed when the school roll fell to zero).