Working to sustain the single-teacher school

I refer to your article on June 7 which referred to a paper recently discussed at Dumfries and Galloway education committee.

It stated that Dumfries and Galloway had become the first authority "to declare its opposition in principle to single-teacher schools." While it is true that this was a direct quotation from the paper, it was a draft paper prepared by a working group and the education committee requested that a redrafted paper be brought back to its next meeting prior to going out to consultation.

In this redrafted paper, there will not be a statement suggesting that the authority opposes single-teacher schools "in principle". This is not a council position, although there are widely held concerns about provision in single-teacher schools and the pressures which this places on the headteacher.

We are facing a significant fall in pupil numbers over the next 15 years and the purpose of the paper is to put in place a set of principles which would guide a local review of a school when its numbers indicate that it could fall to single-teacher status in the relatively near future.

The purpose of the review would be to look at means of supporting and sustaining the school.

The majority of the article was a fair reflection of the draft paper but I would like, for the sake of the several single-teacher schools in Dumfries and Galloway, to allay any fears that the council has adopted a position which would favour the closing of all single-teacher schools.

Fraser Sanderson Director for Education Dumfries and Galloway Council

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