Pupils protest to save S1 and S2 at Lionel

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More than 30 pupils of Lionel School stood in protest of plans to close the school’s secondary departments on Thursday, November 6th.

Along with the protest 454 consultation letters were handed over to the Comhairle’s Director of Development, Calum Iain Maciver, in support of keeping Lionel Secondary open.

After collecting the letters Councillor Maciver thanked the students for bringing them to the council building in Stornoway.

In addition to the consultation letters there was also a petition of 560 signatures handed to the council in support of Lionel Secondary. An online petition had also, at that time, gathered a further 226 signatures

Derek O’Connor, a member of the sub-committee set up by the parents of Lionel School said: “I would like to think that once the council see the official response to the proposal the community will prevail and Lionel Secondary will remain. Failing that I would like to think that if the council vote to close the school it will be in the hands of the government.”

November 7th was the last day that the public could submit documents to be considered during the consultation period.

The Comhairle will now consider the views of the public, school pupils and staff and put a recommendation forward to the Education committee in February next year.

Education Scotland will also consider the consultations and put a recommendation forward to the council.

If the council decide to close Lionel Secondary the decision will go to the Scottish Government who will have the opportunity to ‘call in’ the decision.

If the proposal goes ahead the S1/S2 education provision at Lionel School will be discontinued with effect from 26 June 2015, and the pupils of S1/S2 at Lionel School would then continue their education at The Nicolson Institute, from the 13th of August 2015.

Since August 2012, Lionel School has functioned as a satellite of The Nicolson Institute with management of the S1/S2 provision overseen by senior staff from The Nicolson Institute.

A council report put forward that if this arrangement were to continue this would have a significant impact on curriculum provision and the quality of learning and teaching available in Lionel School secondary department in comparison to The Nicolson Institute.

The report faced some scrutiny from members of the Lionel community who felt that there was not sufficeint evidence to suggest that Lionel Secondary students would benefit from the move.

Pictured is Councillor Calum Iain Maciver gathers the letters from the pupils of Lionel School.