Last opt-out school loses independence

16th June 2000 at 01:00
PUPILS and parents from St Mary's Episcopal Primary in Dunblane, Scotland's only and last opted-out school, went to Edinburgh last week to see MSPs pronounce the end of their independence, writes Neil Munro.

The education Bill has now passed through its final stage in Parliament which means that Stirling Council will assume control of the school.

Executive officials reckon just under 50 amendments to the Bill have been accepted since its passage began in January, although around half of those were tabled by ministers.

During last week's lengthy stage three proceedings, ministers accepted or introduced further changes.

They backed an amendment from Mary Mulligan, Labour convener of the Parliament's education committee, to ensure that exceptions to the "presumption" that pupils with special needs must be educated in mainstream schools could be justfied if "unreasonable" rather than "significant" public expenditure was incurred.

This and the other two grounds for separate education, the suitability of the mainstream placement and adverse effects on other children, "shall be presumed (to) arise only exceptionally", the Executive agreed.

Peter Peacock, the deputy minister, also accepted a carefully-crafted addition to the Bill from Labour backbenchers, supported by the SNP, which will make it mandatory on education authorities "so far as is reasonably practicable" to have "due regard" to the views of young people on decisions that significantly affect them "if there is a wish to express them".

Other last-minute changes include a new right of appeal for excluded pupils against the decision and an obligation on education authorities to abide by any ministerial guidance on home education.


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now