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ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of SPECIAL MEETING of the EDUCATION COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Thursday, 8 May 1997 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors BRIAN MILNE, WALLIE LEASK, GEORGE ALLAN, HELEN ANGUS, Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN, JACK GIBB, Mrs RENATE LAMONT, GEORGE NORRIE, Mrs KATHLEEN M RITCHIE, RICHARD SPEIRS and Mrs SHEENA WELSH; Fr M MILTON, Mr PETER ANDREWS and Mr BRIAN McHARDY.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors GLENNIS MIDDLETON and SANDY WEST and Mrs MADELINE KINGSTON.

Councillor MILNE, Convener, in the Chair.

1. NEWTYLE SCHOOL - CONSULTATION EXERCISE ON POSSIBLE CLOSURE OF SECONDARY DEPARTMENT

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 26 November 1996, there was submitted Report No 530/97 by the Director of Education indicating that the projected roll of the secondary department of Newtyle School for 1997/98 was 40 pupils, representing approximately 47% of the total number of S1 and S2 pupils residing within the school’s delineated area. In the current session there were only three full-time teachers in the secondary department in addition to the head teacher, the remaining secondary staff all working in Newtyle on a part-time basis.

The Report indicated that it seemed likely that the roll of the secondary department would remain around the 40 pupil level and could drift lower. A 20 pupil year group was not large enough to provide the range of educational experiences expected of a secondary school and there were other secondary schools within a legitimate travelling distance of Newtyle to which secondary pupils could reasonably be expected to travel.

In the circumstances it was recommended that the secondary department of Newtyle School be closed at the end of session 1996/97 and that a formal consultation exercise be carried out.

COUNCILLOR MILNE, SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR MRS WELSH, MOVED THAT THE COMMITTEE AGREE:-

(I) TO AUTHORISE THE DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION TO UNDERTAKE A FORMAL CONSULTATION EXERCISE, IN TERMS OF THE EDUCATION (PUBLICATION AND CONSULTATION, ETC) (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 1981, AS AMENDED, ON THE FOLLOWING PROPOSAL:

(A) THAT THE SECONDARY DEPARTMENT OF NEWTYLE SECONDARY SCHOOL BE DISCONTINUED WITH EFFECT FROM THE END OF SCHOOL SESSION 1996/97;

(B) THAT, IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT THE COUNCIL COMPLIED WITH ALL ITS STATUTORY OBLIGATIONS, THOSE PUPILS WHO HAD BEEN ENROLLED FOR S1 OR S2 OF NEWTYLE SECONDARY DEPARTMENT FOR SESSION 1997/98 SHOULD TRANSFER TO FORFAR ACADEMY; AND

(C) THAT THE DELINEATED AREA OF NEWTYLE SECONDARY DEPARTMENT CONTINUE TO BE SUBSUMED WITHIN THE OVERLAPPING DELINEATED AREAS OF FORFAR ACADEMY, HARRIS ACADEMY, DUNDEE AND MENZIESHILL HIGH SCHOOL, DUNDEE.

(II) TO NOTE THAT, NOTWITHSTANDING 1(B) ABOVE, THE PARENTS OF PUPILS ENROLLED FOR S1 OR S2 OF NEWTYLE SECONDARY DEPARTMENT FOR SESSION 1997/98 WOULD BE ENTITLED TO MAKE PARENTAL PLACING REQUESTS AND THAT ANY SUCH PUPILS PLACED AT MENZIESHILL HIGH SCHOOL OR HARRIS ACADEMY AS A RESULT OF SUCH PLACING REQUESTS WOULD CONTINUE TO BE ENTITLED TO HOME TO SCHOOL TRANSPORT;

(III) TO INSTRUCT THE DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION TO USE HIS BEST ENDEAVOURS TO ASSIST PARENTS IN MAKING SUCH PLACING REQUESTS; AND

(IV) TO INSTRUCT THE DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION TO REPORT BACK ON THE OUTCOME OF THE CONSULTATION EXERCISE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

As an amendment, Provost Mrs Duncan, seconded by Mr Peter Andrews, moved that the Director of Education undertake a consultation exercise with parents and the wider community to ascertain how the Council could bring more pupils within the catchment area of Newtyle Secondary Department to make that department a more viable proposition and that he report back on the outcome of that consultation exercise as soon as possible.

On a vote being taken the members voted:

for the motion -

Councillors Milne, Leask, Allan, Angus, Gibb, Mrs Lamont, Norrie, Mrs Ritchie, Speirs and Mrs Welsh (10);

for the amendment -

Provost Mrs Duncan, Mr Andrews and Mr McHardy (3).

Father Milton declined to vote.

THE MOTION WAS DECLARED CARRIED AND BECAME THE FINDING OF THE MEETING.

Thereafter Mr Andrews indicated that he proposed to give notice in terms of Standing Order 21(1) of a motion for the next ordinary meeting of the Education Committee relating to a review of school provision in Angus.