Lionel saved by councillors but other schools to close next year

Lionel could be the only school in Scotland to have an S1/2 department after summer 2013 following a shock decision by councillors tonight (Thursday).

Carloway and Shelibost Schools and the S1/2 department at Shawbost will close in June 2013 unless the Scottish Government is successful in their appeal of the Judicial Review decision.

However councillors decided tonight to save Lionel’s S1/2 unit following an amendment put forward by Cllr Bill Houston and seconded by Cllr Iain Morrison.

They also put forward amendments for the other schools but were defeated.

Leader of the Comhairle Angus Campbell suggested early in the meeting that he may consider his position if the Comhairle were to overturn the decisions to close the two primaries and two S1/2 departments.

Each school was considered separately and although most members voted consistently in all four, some did not leaving the strange situation where Lionel was saved and Shawbost was not.

Leader Angus Campbell said: “Tonight this council has thrown out the strategy and there is going to be a heavy cost of this for years to come.”

He said the decision on Lionel School would come at the cost of other services.