Rural schools are not at risk

17th June 2011 at 01:00

Earlier this month, both the Scottish Government and our administration in East Lothian declared that we would engage in a review of rural schools. At the same time, I am aware of a concern that, with discussions ongoing over shared services between East Lothian and Midlothian within the education and children's services departments, there may be moves afoot to close East Lothian rural schools. Such a rumour is entirely without foundation.

At no stage, have I or my colleagues considered such an option. Quite the reverse. We are implementing measures, for example shared headships, that will secure the future of rural schools. We prize our schools as an integral part of what makes East Lothian life special, and I fully support Education Secretary Mike Russell in his zeal to protect rural schools across the length and breadth of Scotland.

East Lothian is an interesting area geographically in that, while it has a large rural extent, even our villages in the Lammermuir foothills are, in truth, not very remote. A 15- or 20-minute journey will usually take us to a community of some size. That does not, however, mean that we wish in any way to undermine the distinct rural environment characterised by a local school at the heart of these villages.

Rural school pupils get an outstanding education in East Lothian. This will continue, whether or not we engage in shared services with a neighbouring authority.

Peter MacKenzie, chair, education committee, East Lothian Council.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today