On the Wednesday 23 October, the steering group responsible for making recommendations on the future of secondary education in Highland Perthshire met for the first time. Representatives of Breadalbane Academy Parent Council (BAPC) were part of the group. This is BAPC’s summary of the meeting:
Who was there?
The following people are members of the steering group:
• The head teachers of both Pitlochry and Breadalbane
• The PKC education specialists who wrote the September 2019 report on education in Highland Perthshire
• Representatives of Breadalbane and Pitlochry parent councils, in equal numbers.
• Representative from UHI
• PKC Interim Director of Education
• PKC Estates Review team
• Interim Service Manager
👉What was said?
(NB we have requested from PKC a copy of the minutes that were taken yesterday and are more than happy to share these when we receive them)
The following things emerged at the meeting:
• The interim director of education said that delivering S5 and S6 in full in Pitlochry is off the table.
• The steering group consider other options for delivering parts of S5 & S6 in Pitlochry.
• Everyone must feel able to agree to whatever proposals are put forward to the January 2020 meeting of the PKC lifelong learning committee.
• All participants agreed that there must be no detriment to either school. 👈
👉Has PKC defined ‘detriment’ yet?
No. Officials said that “detriment” is challenging to define as it is broad and multi-faceted.
This is a point of great importance for BAPC, because how ‘detriment’ is defined will heavily influence what councillors decide to do to our kids’ education in January.
👉BAPC’s view, which we will continue to represent, is that any definition of ‘detriment’ must:
• Rule out any loss of teachers, pupils, funding, subjects or courses.
• Rule out replacing in-classroom teaching with substitutes such as e-learning.
• Rule out bussing children around the area during the school day.
• Rule out paying more unless this can be shown to sustainably provide extra resources and teachers
• Take as its base the educational status quo, to which only enhancements can be contemplated
👉We hope that this will become apparent as the meetings continue. BAPC will continue, as it has always done, to ask questions and to ask for transparency, justification and explanation.
👉What budget would be available for any new arrangements?
This is still unknown and will be determined later in the process.
However, council officials made it clear that their budget for school buildings, for the next 10 years, is already set.
👉BAPC was delighted to hear our fellow parents from Pitlochry reaffirm that this process is about “compliment not competition”. This has been our view all along and we are happy to hear it is also the view of Pitlochry parent council.
🙏BAPC is committed to communicating everything said by the experts in full, transparently and honestly. If there are any queries about this meeting, please feel free to contact us. We will update you as soon as we know when the next meeting will be. PKC hopes to arrange two sub-committee meetings before we meet again in Perth towards the end of November.
🤝Going forward we ask that in addition to the voices of the Parent councils and the communities we represent , that it is those that know their schools best, the Head teachers partnered by the councils own education specialist and digital strategy specialist that are listened to.🤝
🙏Thank you again for your engagement and welcome any questions🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏