Western Isles classes are not all under 18

13th March 2009 at 00:00

With regard to your news item on class sizes, "Progress has been disappointing" (TESS, February 27), I should make clear that the Western Isles does not have all P1-3 pupils in class sizes of 18 or less.

Unfortunately, incorrect information indicating this was the case was provided to you in your survey of local authority budgets. The actual situation is that class sizes in the Western Isles are generally small, and the average primary has 16 pupils. The principal reason for this is the declining population and falling school rolls.

Approximately 80 per cent of schools in the Western Isles have P1-3 class sizes of 18 and under, while several schools are just over 18. Falling school rolls are one of the main reasons behind the comhairle entering wide-ranging discussions with local communities across the Western Isles to discuss the future provision of primary education.

Morag Munro, chair of education and children's services, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Stornoway.

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