Valuable lessons in management

14th September 2001 at 01:00
Your article on St Mary's School, Dunblane (TESS, August 31) is misleading in suggesting that the school's opted-out status is linked to the politics of "some key board members". As chairman of the parents' association at the time the school opted out, I can state categorically that parents' motivation was to try to ensure the school's survival.

Indeed many parents were concerned, as I was, about seeking opted-out status precisely because it was such a dearly held Conservative policy.

There is, however, a totally different way of looking at this matter. As things have turned out, the school has not only survived but appears to have done well from an educational, community and economic perspective.

Your journal would do us all a service by carrying out an objective assessment of the reasons for the successful aspects, an exercise which the Scottish Executive is unlikely to undertake. There may be valuable lessons in terms of school management, parent participation and the economics of small schools.

Much could be gained for other schools, communities and local authorities in terms of the management and potential viability of small schools which the accountants would otherwise have us close down.

Hugh Grant

St Margaret's Loan

Dunblane, Perthshire

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