“Moray Council need to stop wasting time with this obviously absurd plan and get back to finding a realistic solution that keeps schools at the heart of communities across Moray.
“The megaschool would have more pupils than there are undergraduates at the University of Aberdeen. On school days, it would be a town the same size as Forres. Children as young as four would have a commute of up to an hour each way.
“Not only would this be unworkable, it would tear schools and school children out of their communities. We need more community connection with our schools, not less.”
Volunteer Ronnie MacPhee is singled out for particular thanks, as he retires after leading the school’s youth club for 17 years.
“It’s fantastic to see a school so connected to the local community. The imagination and dedication of teachers, and the close involvement and support of parents, is what makes Sgoil an Iochdar able to offer such a varied and fun programme of events and clubs.
“The school’s success in Gaelic is particularly impressive, given it only became a Gaelic School this year. Their joint project with Sgoil Dhalabroig saw children – including English-medium pupils – write and perform their own Gaelic plays and took the two schools to joint runner-up in the Scottish Education Awards.
“And Sgoil an Iochdar not only hosted the Uist Provincial Mod, but won more points than any other primary school, including the most points in Gaelic.
“I’m especially grateful for the school community’s welcome to families fleeing the war in Syria. The Parent Council’s offer to help refugee families settle into Uist life exemplifies the warm, active and open-minded community spirit that is key to Sgoil an Iochdar’s success.”
The motion has already been signed by 7 other MSPs, and reads:
That the Parliament congratulates the pupils, staff and community of Sgoil an Iochdair, which is on South Uist, on the primary school’s many achievements over the last year, its first as a designated Gaelic school, which included being named runner-up alongside Sgoil Dhalabroig in the Gaelic award at the Scottish Education Awards for the joint drama initiative, in which pupils from both schools wrote and performed original plays in Gaelic; notes that the school also hosted both the Feis Tir A’Mhuran and the Uist provincial mod, at which it won the most points of any primary; considers the involvement of the community to be a key factor in its success, with parent volunteers making it possible to establish many clubs, such as football, music and drama; recognises in particular the contribution of Ronnie MacPhee, who has retired after 17 years of leading the school’s youth club, and thanks the members of the Parent Council for their warm welcome and generous offer of help to refugee families who have fled Syria and have arrived in the Outer Hebrides.