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Half of parents boycott opt-out vote

Parents at Rockwell High in Dundee have voted overwhelmingly for self-governing status but the number of parents backing the decision was almost matched by the number who failed to vote.

Of 290 parents who took part, 93 per cent supported self-governing status as an alternative to closure by the city council. The number who did not vote was 280.

The school board's decision in favour of opting out was one of a number that prompted Michael Forsyth, the Scottish Secretary, to push through legislation in the recent Education (Scotland) Act to prevent delaying tactics by schools facing closure.

Mr Forsyth has repeated his assertion that unviable schools will not be allowed to opt out and has supported local authorities in their closure plans.

Dundee had planned to close the school at the end of last session but will now be forced to keep it open until the Secretary of State rules on the school's viability as a self-governing secondary.

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