Education Secretary Michael Russell has launched a consultation in response to the Report of the Commission of the Delivery of Rural Education.
The Commission put forward proposals to improve the delivery of education, a number of which require changes to the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.
The consultation seeks views, by September 2 on:
The presumption against closure
Providing financial information on closure proposals
Clarifying and expanding Education Scotland’s role
The basis for determining school closure proposals
Establishing an independent referral mechanism
Views on a five year moratorium between closure proposals for the same school.
Mr Russell said: “School closures are an emotive issue for all communities and it is important that they are dealt with in an open, effective and transparent manner. Rural schools have particular importance to the local economy and the viability of rural communities. I want to ensure we have measures in place to protect and enhance that, while still providing councils with the flexibility they need.
“The Scottish Government and COSLA set up the Commission to examine the delivery of rural education and review the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010. I am committed to working closely with relevant stakeholders, parents and communities to tackle these difficult issues.
“The Commission suggested a number of changes to the legislation on school closures. I encourage everyone with an interest in schools to consider this consultation and ensure their views are reflected in new legislation which delivers for education, economies and communities.”