Island primary school with zero pupils could face closure

The catchment area no longer has any school-aged children and there is no anticipated need for it in the near future.

Shetland Island Council to decide if Fetlar Primary School should close after pupil numbers drop to zero Google Maps

A primary school on a Shetland island could be mothballed after its number of pupils dropped to zero.

A decision on temporarily closing Fetlar Primary School will be made at a meeting of Shetland Islands Council’s education and families committee on Monday.

A report to members highlighted that as of May the school roll was zero.

The catchment area no longer has any children requiring school provision, and it is understood there is no anticipated need in the near future.

As a result children’s services is recommending that the school be mothballed. This is when a school is temporarily closed until it is needed again.

“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 report adds.

Current school staff have been informed and discussions will take place on their options.

If councillors agree to mothball the school, a review of the decision will occur annually unless circumstances change.

The report to councillors said the Fetlar community has been through the process before.

The school on the so-called ‘Garden of Shetland’ shares a headteacher with Baltasound in Unst.

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

It comes after the council recently advertised for a headteacher role at the school on fellow island Foula, which has a roll of four primary children.

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