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Consultation on Schools Act

15th July 2013

Views sought on the process of future school closure proposals.

Education Secretary Michael Russell has launched a consultation in response to the Report of the Commission of the Delivery of Rural Education.

The Commission put forward proposals to improve the delivery of education, a number of which require changes to the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.

The consultation seeks views, by 2 September 2013 on:

the presumption against closure
providing financial information on closure proposals
clarifying and expanding Education Scotlands role
the basis for determining school closure proposals
establishing an independent referral mechanism
views on a five year moratorium between closure proposals for the same school.
Mr Russell said:

School closures are an emotive issue for all communities and it is important that they are dealt with in an open, effective and transparent manner. Rural schools have particular importance to the local economy and the viability of rural communities. I want to ensure we have measures in place to protect and enhance that, while still providing councils with the flexibility they need.

The Scottish Government and COSLA set up the Commission to examine the delivery of rural education and review the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010. I am committed to working closely with relevant stakeholders, parents and communities to tackle these difficult issues.

The Commission suggested a number of changes to the legislation on school closures. I encourage everyone with an interest in schools to consider this consultation and ensure their views are reflected in new legislation which delivers for education, economies and communities.

The Government issued its response to the Commissions Report on 13 June, identifying actions that would be taken forward to implement the Commissions recommendations. Many of these recommendations do not require legislation, and will be taken forward through other actions such as through revision to the statutory guidance that accompanies the 2010 Act.

The consultation document and details of how to respond can be found at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/07/5984

The Commissions Report can be found at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/04/5849

The Governments Response can be found at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/06/6087

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