Councillor says promises to Sandwickhill parents broken

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Improvements to Stornoway Primary are not happening fast enough, say local councillors who stress that promises to parents have been broken.

Stornoway South Cllr Angus McCormack raised his concerns at Tuesday’s meeting of the Education and Children’s Services committee about the priority being given to works at Stornoway Primary.

He said: “During the process of rationalisation, there were two promises made to parents at Sandwickhill School (Point).

“One was that pupils would move into a school which was in as good condition as the school they left and that any savings which came from the closure of Sandwickhill would be used in the receiving school.”

He added: “It’s not the case that children from Sandwickhill are in a school that has as good conditions as the school they left in terms of the gym.”

Cllr Charlie Nicolson said he shared these concerns and the issue of changing rooms needed to be looked at now and not in three years time.

“We have been discussing this for three years and it does not seem to be moving,” he said.

Cllr Rae Mackenzie said he believed staff were pushed for space in the school although Chair of Education Cllr Catriona Stewart pointed out that the school had been originally built for 500 children and it still did not have that size of roll.

The discussion arose as part of the Education and Children’s Services committee’s consideration of the School Estate Management Plan 2013-23.

Director of Education Mr Peter Carpenter said Sandwickhill School had been a condition B school when it closed and that Stornoway Primary was a condition B school.

He said a meeting would take place between the councillors and council officials from the Education Department and the Technical Services department to outline the works which would take place at Stornoway Primary.

The islands’ second largest school will benefit from a £1.8million Receiving School fund identified as part of the Capital funds for 2014-18 and would also receive funds for improvements from other budgets.