All-through schools in action

I read with interest the views of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association on so-called "all-through schools" ("Secondary staff urge caution over all-through schools").

I agree with Catherine Nicol's implied assertion that the creation of all-through schools should not be driven solely by financial considerations. However, I was mystified that she went on to criticise the concept on the basis that younger children would be more vulnerable to bullying and exposure to "teenage issues".

In Orkney, we have three 3-16 schools, known as junior high schools, and these also exist in other parts of the Highlands and Islands. Yes, they make economic sense. Yes, they may mean one or two fewer jobs. But I would invite Ms Nicol to visit some of these vibrant, inclusive, high-attaining schools and see how nurturing they are for younger children before she writes them all off.

Leslie Manson, executive director of education, leisure and housing, Orkney Islands Council.

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