Watchdog targets failure to close island schools

1st April 2005 at 01:00
Independent councillors are to blame for Shetland's excessively high spending on education, the Accounts Commission concludes in its latest best value review of local authorities.

The public spending watchdog accuses councillors of dodging difficult decisions on school closures last year, despite a three-year review of provision carried out by a group of elected members and officials. The commission's inquiry bluntly suggests they were more concerned about their own electoral patches than the efficiency of overall council services.

Shetland has higher running costs for primaries and secondaries than any other Scottish authority - pound;5,870 and pound;9,493 per pupil respectively compared with national averages of pound;3,537 and pound;5,058, according to the latest figures for 2003-04. The council would have trimmed more than Pounds 500,000 from its pound;41 million education budget had councillors approved the closure of five primaries and one secondary.

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