Primary school saga continues

Skipness Primary School faces permanent closure.

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The saga surrounding the future of Skipness Primary School is set to continue until almost the end of the year.

Argyll and Bute Council is poised to continue the consultation on the closure-threatened school’s future until Friday, December 18.

The authority will also remain committed to holding a public meeting on the future of the school once Scottish Government Covid-19 restrictions allow mass gatherings.

The school has been mothballed since October 2016, with no new pupils enrolled. A public meeting was due to be held on May 6, but was cancelled due to the pandemic.

The community services committee will be asked to approve continuing the consultation when it meets on Thursday, August 27.

A report by executive director Douglas Hendry said: ‘The original six-week consultation period commenced on March 19 and was due to end at close of business on May 15, in order to meet the statutory requirements and include at least 30 school days. A public meeting was also arranged for May 6 at 7pm in Skipness Village Hall.

‘However, shortly after commencement of the consultation the coronavirus outbreak caused schools to be closed and restrictions on public gatherings were enforced as part of the lockdown measures.

‘It was therefore clear that the consultation exercise would not be able to proceed as originally planned.

‘Therefore, at its meeting on April 16, the business continuity committee agreed to officers’ proposals to extend the consultation period from May 15 to August 31 and to cancel the public meeting scheduled for May 6, with a new date to be set once the regulations imposing restrictions of public gatherings allow it to proceed.’

Mr Hendry added: ‘Given the current Covid-19 pandemic this report sets out proposals to further extend the ongoing statutory consultation exercise with regard to the proposal to close Skipness Primary School and to hold a rearranged public meeting once the UK/Scottish Government restrictions on public assemblies allow it to proceed.’