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Background Info

Using one example, a public consultation was carried out with relevant consultees, as defined by law (parents, pupils, etc. at both schools concerned) with regards the realignment of the catchment area of a specified secondary school to a primary school despite the clear majority of consultees preferring a more accessible establishment.

A public consultation on these changes was carried out in accordance with the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010, and 85% of respondents were ‘against’ the proposal advanced by the local authority concerned. We believe the reasonable wishes of parents and other consultees must be respected, especially when there is such a clear majority against the course of action the local authority proposed in this case.

This situation is not merely a local matter – it happens across the country and the example cited is only one such case.  That is why we are petitioning the Scottish Parliament: to remedy an issue which occurs across the country with legislation at a national level, which local authorities would be legally-bound to comply with.

There should be a right to appeal to Scottish Ministers where a local authority does not listen to the majority wishes of parents, pupils and all other consultees when making decisions listed within the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.

The effect of this legislation would be to allow consultees to appeal to Scottish Ministers where a public consultation has been held, and a majority decision was made by the consultees, which a local authority then makes a decision contrary to.