Small Primary is 'Mothballed'

17th August 2012 at 01:00

When Torridon Primary was inspected in 2004, it had seven pupils, including one child in the nursery class. This summer, Highland Council "mothballed" it as there were no pupils left.

For the past two years, since its head and only full-time teacher Anne Macrae was suspended by her education authority, it has had an acting head, which has cost the council two salaries.

The original HMIE report of 2004 found important weaknesses in the structure of the school curriculum and in learning and teaching, describing attainment in English and maths as "fair".

Between 2006 and 2011, there were six follow-through reports. In 2010, when Miss Macrae was on sick leave, the inspection team visited the school and issued the following verdict: "The headteacher has not clearly identified areas for school improvement. Progress since the last inspection has been too slow. The headteacher's leadership is not focused enough on making the necessary improvements. The school's systems for making improvements are too limited. Much more remains to be done to ensure that self-evaluation leads to improvements in learning and achievement."

Mr MacKinnon has written his own report on Torridon, in which he states: "Miss Macrae and Torridon Primary School require fair redress and resolution to the pejorative commentary placed against them, which they have not received, for there is no right of appeal and no right of complaint that can be applied to HMIE's textual commentary.

"The failure to incorporate and include Curriculum for Excellence should lead to substantial amendment of these reports of Torridon Primary School."

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