In response to the recommendations in the report on the statutory consultation for Ae, Garlieston and Kirkbean primary schools which will be considered by Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning [CYPLL] Committee on 30 November 2017, and to be published on Wednesday 8th Novemeber.

South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “I welcome the recommendation to have Ae, Garlieston and Kirkbean primary schools stay open along with the 5 year moratorium on any future consultation as per the requirements of the Act. Dumfries and Galloway Council has listened to the powerful case put by local communities who value and want to work to support their local schools.

School are a vital part of any community but especially villages where they are often, not just used for teaching but community events and it is clear that is the case here.

In my submission to the consultation I made the point that school rolls would actually be higher in each school but some parents had understandably chosen to send their kids elsewhere because they were worried the school would close. Hopefully, this recommendation will go parents locally the confidence to send their kids to their local schools, not those some distance away.

Whilst this is a moment for the local community to celebrate, it is also important we do not lose sight of the fact that councils are being forced to consider the future of schools as a direct result of considerable funding cuts from the Scottish Government to local councils. I will continue to urge the Scottish Government to value the work of schools and local council and make sure they start to properly fund local services

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