Evidence given to Commission is being questioned

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been heavily criticised by the Scottish Rural Schools Network (SRSN) after key evidence submitted by the council to the Commission on the Delivery of Rural Education was resubmitted after ‘discrepancies’ were highlighted.

The final report from the Commission made several major recommendations including that Scottish Ministers retain the right to call-in closures as was the case for Carloway and Shawbost S1/2 units whose future still hangs in the balance.

But SRSN queried the accuracy of the Cost Per Pupil figures which was subsequently changed by the Comhairle just before the Commission’s final report was published.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar claim the initial data provided was not inaccurate but reflected a different approach.

The original figures were found to be based on 2011 budgets but using school roll figures from 2012.

During this period some schools had closed meaning pupils numbers had risen at some schools which was not reflected in additional staff costs.

For the full story see this week’s Stornoway Gazette, out now.