SNP deliver for rural school children

PROTECTION PASSED FOR SCHOOLS

SNP MSP for the Western Isles Alasdair Allan today
welcomed the unanimous support in Parliament for SNP legislation protecting
Scotland's schools - particularly rural schools.

The Schools Consultation bill - which passed today
- places more stringent requirements on Councils looking to close
schools.

Councils now have to explain educational benefits
from closure proposals, consult for set periods of time and individuals and
communities can also request that the Government calls in any decision to close
a school.

Additional protection for provision of
Gaelic/English medium provision will also be introduced.

Dr Allan - who amended the legislation to ensure
changes to Gaelic or English provision in schools were covered by the
consultation requirements said:

"This legislation will bring extra protection to
schools of all kinds across the country.

"For too long the balance of power between parents
and councils when it comes to school closures has been off kilter.

"With this legislation councils proposing closures
have a new set of obligations to live up to that will ensure the views of
parents, children and communities are taken into account.

"I am particularly pleased to see that proposals to
significantly change language provision in schools or to close schools offering
Gaelic or English medium will also be subject to the same consultation.  This is
an essential move for those communities that want to ensure their children have
access to both languages.

"Today's bill sees the SNP fulfil a key manifesto
commitment and deliver a better future for Scotland's school
communities."

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