Council to mothball remote island school as pupil levels hit zero

Fetlar Primary School now has no pupils and there is no indication it will change any time soon.

Fetlar Primary School on Shetland island to be mothballed as number of pupils drops to zero Google Maps

Councillors have given the green light to mothball a primary school on a remote Shetland island.

The number of pupils at Fetlar Primary School, situated on the island of the same name, has now reached zero, and there is no indication this will change.

The decision to mothball the school was made at a meeting of Shetland Islands Council’s education and families committee on Monday.

Mothballing is a term used when a school is effectively shut but able to reopen should there be a need to.

A report to councillors said: “Should the need arise in the future for education provision in Fetlar, a conversation will be held with central officers, parents, carers and children about the re-opening of Fetlar Primary School.”

The existing two school staff have been informed and discussions will take place on their options.

Monday’s meeting heard that the council would discuss potentially relocating the staff’s jobs, within appropriate travel distance.

The school – which has gone through the mothballing process before – shares a headteacher with Baltasound in Unst.

Shetland already has two mothballed schools – Skerries and Papa Stour.

Most of the discussion at Monday’s meeting was about the procedure about “unmothballing” at school, with Shetland Central member Moraig Lyall successfully amending the motion to include a request that a policy be developed.

Meanwhile there were representatives from the North Isles – which includes Fetlar – at Monday’s meeting as the ward’s existing two councillors decided not to put forward a member to the committee while a by-election looms for its vacant third seat.

Lerwick South member John Fraser said it was “disappointing” there was no representation from the North Isles at Monday’s meeting – but children’s services director Helen Budge said the Shetland Islands Council had spoken to the chair of Fetlar Community Council.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code