Being small is not a crime

6th May 2011 at 01:00

My daughter's school, Uyeasound Primary ("The Rainbowlight School"), received an outstanding HMIE inspection report last year - three "excellents" and two "very goods". The inspectors concluded that "stimulating learning experiences (are) provided for children" and "outstanding progress (has been) made in embracing Curriculum for Excellence".

This was not achieved in an area of great privilege. The area is classified as "very remote" and the island lost almost half of its full- time jobs in the mid-2000s, when the RAF left and the airport closed. The median household income in Uyeasound is the lowest of any community council area in Shetland.

So here we have a school which is providing excellent education and enhancing equality in Scotland. Just what everyone wants, you would think. Why then are we fighting (yet again) the closure of the school? It seems that we do everything right - except for our crime of being a small school. Size matters, it seems, in today's Scotland. It gives a very hollow ring to the hope that a Scottish Parliament would be able to understand and preserve Scotland's unique rural areas.

Catriona Waddington, Baltasound, Unst, Shetland.

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