Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil is writing to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar about concerns from secondary teaching staff that the Comhairle is trying to impose more online remote teaching by introducing uniform timetables for s5/6 pupils across the islands whilst calling some teaching jobs in secondary schools ‘unviable’.

Commenting Angus MacNeil said:

“I find it quite concerning that the council are trying to put a strait jacket on schools by trying to make them all have the same timetable.  This does not enable flexibility or the idiosyncratic needs in each school. If there was much merit in this proposal it would be adopted across Scotland but quite clearly everyone knows that different schools have different needs with different pupils and different demands.

“Therefore,  logically the Comhairle shouldn’t be doing this. I am looking for clarity as to what I am hearing being described as ‘unviable’ teaching posts which sounds like cover for trying to take jobs from very rural communities.  No teaching job is unviable,  if a teacher is required, a teacher is required, and it should be a physical teacher, not one teaching via a computer.

“It also seems quite foolhardy for one of the smallest education authorities to go banding around the world ‘unviable’, lest they be merged with one of the larger mainland education authorities. So, I look forward to some clarity from the council on their proposals, especially as there is talk of local strike action from EIS at which apparently would be a first across Scotland, and certainly not what we want to see or become known for in our islands.”