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Opt-back lobby for minister

Highland will press for the repeal of the opting-out legislation at a meeting with the Education Minister today (Friday). Councillors say they are concerned that attempts to reintegrate Dornoch Academy may be short-lived unless the law is changed.

The Government has declared opting out dead and said it will not approve any further applications, but ministers are unwilling to find parliamentary time on this issue.

Highland's education committee agreed last week to continue talks with the Dornoch board of management aimed at reaching a voluntary agreement to bring the 122-pupil school back under council control.

While Val MacIver, Highland's education chairman, said she could not give any undertaking about the school's future it seems likely that Dornoch will be allowed to keep its six-year status, in common with the council's other secondaries.

Meanwhile Stirling Council is optimistic about the outcome of talks with St Mary's Episcopal primary, Scotland's other opted-out school.

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