The recently formed Wee Schools Matter campaign has launched a petition to call on Dumfries and Galloway Council to reverse their decision to cut teachers in small schools.
A Spokesperson from Wee Schools Matter Said “On the 27th of February 2019, Dumfries and Galloway Council voted to increase the number of pupils in a ‘composite class’.
A ‘composite’ class is a class made up of multiple years – for instance, a P3 and P4 class. Composite classes are common in smaller schools and are manageable by a single teacher when made up of two or even three year groups.
Until this year, the maximum size for a composite class was 19 pupils. If a two-teacher school roll dropped below this number, it would be reduced to a single-teacher school.
While this number is within the guidelines set by the Scottish Government, it has been taken to its legal limit. When applied to the rural primary school setting, the impact is huge. Intentional or not, this decision will clearly set smaller schools up to fail.
By increasing composite class sizes to 25 pupils in our primary schools, they are putting our young people and teachers in danger. It is unfair and wrong to leave a single teacher with sole responsibility for up to 25 pupils aged from 4-12, encompassing multi-level teaching and varying support needs.
We are concerned that this decision is an attempt to close smaller and rural schools by stealth and to get round strict Scottish Government legislation and policies. In this context we believe the lack of consultation and information for parents has been unacceptable.
The Council claim this is a necessary financial decision but we believe the education of the next generation should always be the Council’s top priority.
It is unprecedented in Scotland with Dumfries and Galloway the only region in Scotland to take this decision which has been described by the EIS as ‘closure by the back door’. ”
The Wee Schools Matter campaign is run by parent councils from across the region who have banded together to fight this decision and save our small, rural schools and communities.
The number of parent councils joining the campaign is steadily increasing as more parents become aware of the ways that their schools could be affected or the knock-on effect that this will have for partnership schools or within the cluster of an affected school.
It is a priority for the Wee Schools Matter campaign to protect our small, rural schools and to ensure that Dumfries and Galloway Council uphold their commitment to give all of our children the best start in life.
In attendance at the joint parent council meeting on Friday 10th May 2019 were
MSPs Oliver Mundell and Joan McAlpine, Councillor Ian Carruthers and EIS Secretary for D&G Andrew O’Halloran to offer support to the Wee Schools Matter campaign.
Now the Wee Schools Matter campaign is asking for your support.
The Wee Schools Matter Spokes person continued “If you are a parent of a school age child and would like to join the campaign please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org please also ask your parent council chairperson to contact the campaign and add your voice to ours.
Please sign and share the petition, like and share the facebook page and support the regions schools and young people.”
If you would like to find out more and support the Wee Schools Matter campaign please follow the links below.
You can find out more about the campaign at https://www.weeschoolsmatter.org
You can find our Petition here:
You can find our Facebook page here: