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Closure talks to reopen

A NEW attempt is to be made by Dumfries and Galloway to resolve dilemmas over the future of its primary schools.

The authority has already had a round of consultations with school boards. But Fraser Sanderson, the director of education, told councillors this week there was a need to define what "educational considerations" should consist of - some suggested a school's performance should be taken into account - and what a "community" constituted.

The education committee agreed to flesh out these princiles and then institute an area-by-area review based on secondaries and their associated primaries.

Although the council has not closed a school for 11 years, it decided to embark on a strategic approach "in order to remove the annually recurring fears which beset many schools".

It promises that any approach will be "open and fair", although some boards have expressed fears that an education authority can manipulate a closure simply by running down a school and not spending any money on it.

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