Western Isles school closures spark legal challenge


Western Isles council has begun a legal challenge to the Scottish government's refusal to allow school closures.

The education secretary refused to allow the local authority to close Carloway and Seilebost schools and end S1/2 education at Shawbost and Lionel.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar asked Mike Russell to review his decision but he refused, saying the council's consultation was flawed.

The authority is now seeking a judicial review of the decision.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar also welcomed the review of schools closures legislation announced by the Scottish government.

'Greater transparency'

Leader Angus Campbell said: "The Comhairle has sought clarity on schools closure legislation as we could not see why the Scottish government allowed some schools to close but others, which went through exactly the same process, were prevented from closing, despite there being educational benefits.

"Hopefully this review will allow greater transparency in the process and that can only be welcomed."

He added: "To aid that clarity the Comhairle is continuing the process of judicial review of those decisions whilst maintaining a dialogue with the Scottish government."

The council would also be pressing the Scottish government to suspend any request for a moratorium on school closures until after the Cosla convention, due to be held in Stornoway on 24 June, a spokesman said.

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