Highlands & Islands

Parents upset by move to shut Western Isles' last S1/2 unit

Lionel School Image copyright Gordon Hatton/Geograph
Image caption Lionel is the last school on the Western Isles to offer primary and S1/2 education

The last school on the Western Isles to offer primary education and the first two years at secondary level is to lose its S1/2 departments.

The decision to close the secondary school unit at Lionel on Lewis was agreed at a full meeting of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar on Wednesday night.

The move got the go ahead on the casting vote of the council's convener.

Parents opposed to the closure attended the meeting and were visibly upset by the decision.

Lionel School provides primary and S1/2 education before pupils move on to finish their secondary schooling at the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway.

It is the last school on the Western Isles to offer primary education and the first two years at secondary level.

Earlier this month, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar's education committee voted nine to six in favour of ending the S1/2 provision.

A final decision on the plans rested with the full council.

Supporters of the closure say that transferring pupils to the new Nicolson Institute will given them more educational opportunities.

But hundreds of people have objected to the plans saying they will be harmful to local children and will damage the community.

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