SBC: could do better on consultation

Scottish Borders Council is currently hosting a series of public consultation meetings in local schools around the region to garner views on plans to make radical changes to the school week.

SBC is keen to move pupils to a four-and-a-half day week as opposed to the current five days.

But many parents seem to be labouring under the misconception that the use of the word ‘consultation’ implies that the council wants to get parents’ views before making up its mind on whether to proceed with the changes.

However, it would appear that what SBC wants is to find out about any potential problems there might be when it does switch to a shorter school week.

Now, our elected representatives at Newtown St Boswells may feel there is nothing wrong with that approach, but the risk is that it leaves many parents feeling it is all nothing more than a PR stunt to pay lip service to the notion of consultation and get a box ticked.

There looks like good arguments both for and against making the change to an asymmetric school week.

But it is vital parents feel they have a central role in the decision and not that they are being sidelined or marginalised. For when it comes to education, no-one has a more vested interest than parents.

After all, not only are they parents of the current crop of pupils, they are also taxpayers footing the bill for schools.