Letters, December 3 2021

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Proposed executive headships are causing concerns

From every corner of the Kintyre and the Islands ward, I am continuing to receive many messages from my constituents who are justifiably concerned about the proposed executive headships.

There are huge worries about how schools will operate effectively in the delivery, quality and equity of education in Argyll and Bute if these changes are enacted.

Argyll and Bute Council is currently employing an outside marketing agency to consult teachers, school staff and the communities they serve on this proposal.

However, many who I have spoken to feel that this is something that’s already done and this exercise is about selling this proposal to the communities rather than genuinely seeking views.

Messages to my email inbox and calls to my mobile phone continue to pour in from many concerned teachers and parents.

It has been said by many people that at the root of this is a cost-cutting exercise which will create a difficult and unequal education service across the varied geography of Argyll and Bute.

My constituents including parents and teachers have my full support and I am a keen ally on this important matter and many more.

We who are elected to the council must put the concerns of our own constituents first.

It is my firm belief that I was not elected to be a man who speaks up for Kilmory within my local ward; I believe that I was elected to speak up for my local ward in Kilmory.

I am not a supporter of these proposed executive headships and I will do all that I can to stop these negative changes.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Kintyre and the Islands.

Double The Love for Mary’s Meals this Christmas

The charm of the presents under our Christmas tree lies partly in their very different shapes and sizes.

Perhaps the same could be said of our own families. None of them look the same.

Take 12-year-old Hawa – she lives with her granny, an aunt and four cousins in Liberia. Often there is not enough food for her family to eat.

Mary’s Meals serves nutritious food at school to children living in some of the world’s poorest countries, attracting them into the classroom where they receive an education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty.

More than two million children receive our life-changing meals every school day – including Hawa.

I am pleased to tell you that, until January 31 2022, donations made to our Double The Love campaign will be matched, up to £1.6 million, by a generous group of supporters.

Those children receiving Mary’s Meals might not have a pile of presents to unwrap on Christmas morning, but their dreams are alive and well, thanks to those who share our belief that every child should have enough to eat and go to school.

You can learn more about our work by visiting marysmeals.org.uk

Have a wonderful Christmas.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder of Mary’s Meals.