BAPC calls for enhancement not detriment to our senior school phase

Breadalbane Academy Parent Council (BAPC) is pleased to hear that Pitlochry High School is no longer threatened with closure. We congratulate Pitlochry Parent Council for its successful campaign.

Nevertheless, our concerns about the process which led us to this point remain. The council still has not properly engaged with Breadalbane Academy parents, despite the fact that all options under review will have a material impact on the school’s statutory status and its ability to provide a high standard of education for all pupils in Highland Perthshire. This is a highly unsatisfactory state of affairs which runs contrary to national and council policy.

However, BAPC is happy to see that the proposed review of senior-phase provision will have as its basis the assumption that its outcome must not have a detrimental impact on either Pitlochry High School or Breadalbane Academy (§ 2.35).

This must effectively rule out any changes to Breadalbane Academy’s:
catchment area
pupil mix and associated enrollment policies
school curriculum, staffing entitlement
school transport arrangements or budgets
We have asked Perth and Kinross Council (PKC) to confirm that this is the case.

Since BAPC became aware of the potential impact of the PKC Estates Review on our school, our message to all officials and councillors has been simply to ask what is best for all Highland Perthshire children. We’re very happy that PKC has listened to our message and is now committed to extensive community consultation across Highland Perthshire.

We’re also extremely happy to see the terms of reference that PKC has set for the review. We welcome the opportunity for the “enhancement” of our current offering the review seems to envision. Anything that helps Breadalbane Academy’s skilled and talented education staff offer an even broader and more diverse curriculum, on site and at the school, is good and positive.

We have requested that PKC and all councillors note that any loss of pupils would leave an already expensive and only partially occupied PPP-building even more under capacity. Year on year, BA continues to improve and we welcome support from PKC and our local councilors in finding even more ways to use the great facilities and talent already available at Breadalbane Academy.

Once again we congratulate Pitlochry Parent Council on an excellent campaign to stop the closure of their school. And we welcome PKC’s acknowledgement that what is best for ALL Highland Perthshire children is for funding to be spent on enhancing the already excellent senior phase.

INFORMATION – what are BA PC saying.. what are the officials saying!!!

Presentation from BA Parent Council Evening.   (CLICK HERE)

This is the presentation that the Parent Council Sub committee presented to parents on Thursday 31st Jan at school.

Please do email chairperson@breadalbaneparents.com for questions or/and to be added to our mailing list..

Key points

According to the Schools Consultation (Scotland) Act 2010, Perth Kinross Council (PKC) SHOULD have consulted Breadalbane Academy school community…. they did NOT

 

4 of the 5 options that PKC presented Pitlochry High School on the 1st of October 2018 impact Breadalbane Academy (and ALL schools in Highland Perthshire)

1.Improve condition rating of school
2.Improve condition rating of school and include S5 and S6 at PHS to increase occupancy level – ALL councillors have publicly supported this option
3.Improve condition rating of school and extend catchment area to increase occupancy level
4.S4 pupils move to BA and review use of PHS building
5.Close PHS (Secondary) and pupils move to BA

 

The potential negative impact upon Breadalbane Academy 

•Lower pupil numbers at BA (as they stay on at PHS for S5 & S6)
•Reduce funding for teaching staff. – lose teachers
Reduction in depth and range of subjects on offer in senior phase
•Option 2 creates two small secondary schools in Highland Perthshire
National recruitment challenge
Narrower curriculum

What are WE saying?? 

“Its about the education for ALL Highland Perthshire children!!”

“what are the educational benefits for Pitlochry High School , BA and ALL Highland Perthshire Children… in ALL the options? SHOW US”

“PKC must give us ,BA school and wider community including ALL feeder schools and their communities, a FULL consultation

“the option to extend PHS has cross party backing”

“PKC have a flawed process”

“why didn’t PKC consult us? 2 years since PKC commenced the Estates Review!”

Breadalbane Academy offer a broad curriculum (see slide of all options currently available)… we don’t want to reduce our curriculum (and the choices available) to core”!!)

 

 


??????WHAT are the OFFICIALS saying??????

.. apparently there is disparity between what was said by the councillors (and heard by all those who attended) and what the councillors actually really meant to say…..so we invite ALL councillors to comment on what they said , or didn’t say.. in the meeting..

 

PKC – “we did not need to consult BA Parent Council and the school community

Independent Councillor .. I had to get up early to travel to school and did longer hours than my parents…. BA PC “how can a wide curriculum be offered to both PHS and BA pupils”…. “pupils could travel between schools for certain subjects”…. BA PC “so pupils still have to travel! perhaps adding to the regularity of travel.. more pupils travelling???? ” …… “have tried to stop the estates review process” …

Conservative Councillor was asked “will you now confirm that you will support Breadalbane Academy and protect us from losing subjects”… he sat down.. no answer… (he has been previously asked to stop the process and said he couldn’t)… BA PC know he can..

SNP Councillor/ Leading his group in the Life Long Learning Committee** – “it is political” and both PHS and BA could “maintain a core curriculum” , “great presentation” but PHS extension “would not damage Breadalbane Academy”!!!!  based on “anecdotal evidence” ****

*****(definition of “anecdotal evidence” taken from Collins Dictionary  “Anecdotal evidence is based on individual accounts, rather than on reliable research or statistics, and so may not be valid.”

** “The Lifelong Learning Committee comprises elected members of Perth & Kinross Council….” , including (conservative) John Duff and (independent) Xander McDade.. who PKC will present their chosen ONE option to in May and the Life Long Learning Committee will vote on the ONE option…

John Swinney (The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills) I “support your (BA PC) efforts and request that PKC consults with parents of BA”… “endorse your (BA PC) request that the process be paused while your views are sought”

SNP councillorI have felt the whole consultation process around the school estate review has been disfuntional. Indeed the whole of Highland Perthshire should have been consulted about how education is delivered locally.

 

 

THURSDAY 31st Jan – Parent council meeting

Letter from PC re upcoming meeting – estates review

Letter sent to ALL parents of Breadalbane Academy by BA Parent Council…

Breadalbane Parent Council

Parent Council Meeting: 6:30pm, Thursday 31 January, Breadalbane Academy

Dear Parent or Carer,

Did you know that the future of Pitlochry High School is under review? And that this review has serious implications for the future of Breadalbane Academy.  Perth and Kinross Council is considering five options for the future of Pitlochry High School:

  1. 1. Close Pitlochry High School.
  2. 2. Improve the condition of Pitlochry High School and keep the school open.
  3. 3. Pitlochry High School pupils to stay in Pitlochry for S5 and S6. 
  4. 4. Extend the catchment area of Pitlochry to increase the number of kids going there.
  5. 5. Move pupils to Breadalbane Academy in S4 rather than S5. 

Breadalbane Academy Parent Council is particularly concerned about option 3: extending Pitlochry High School, so that pupils stay there in S5 and S6. If that happens, Breadalbane Academy could potentially lose around 70 pupils (based on data provided by PKC). That means cuts in funding and teacher numbers.

With fewer teachers it may be difficult or impossible to run Advanced Higher courses.  Specialist and vocational courses, such as rural studies, outdoor studies, uniformed-services outreach and computer studies, may also come under threat.  

Nor is this only a concern for parents and pupils in the Breadalbane Academy catchment. Even with an S5 and S6, Pitlochry High School would also be one of the smallest secondary schools on mainland Scotland. This means it would face the same challenges. 

As a parent council, we are talking to Perth and Kinross Council to try and understand if it can guarantee pupils at Breadalbane Academy and across Highland Perthshire the same breadth and depth of education they benefit from today, should these reforms go ahead. 

We want to hear your views and we need your help to get the message across to PKCour message fed into the Estates review process. . No matter what happens at Pitlochry High School, we want the council toa guarantee that all children in Highland Perthshire will still have access to the same standard of education they do today. 

Come to the parent council meeting at 6:30pm, Thursday 31 January, at Breadalbane Academy. 

Best regards

Co-chairs, Breadalbane Academy Parent Council

**THIS IMPACTS ALL YOUR CHILDREN!