School set to be closed after no applicants for head teacher job

Kilchrenan Primary School has six pupils, but after summer this will drop to just four.

Argyll and Bute school set to be closed after no applicants for Kilchrenan head teacher job Facebook

A village primary school has been recommended for mothballing after no applications were received for its vacant head teacher post.

Kilchrenan Primary School’s head teacher was due to retire in February, and the school roll is due to fall from six pupils to four after the summer holiday.

Argyll and Bute Council officers have now recommended that the school is mothballed, with the building retained for two years.

The pupils due to attend will be relocated to Taynuilt Primary, six and a half miles away.

A report will go before the authority’s community services committee at its virtual meeting on Thursday, March 10. Should mothballing be agreed, a further review will take place in March 2023.

Executive director Douglas Hendry said: “As of February 2022 the head teacher retires and the education service has been unable to recruit a replacement as a result of no applicants.

“Shared headship was considered, however, a number of parents made the decision that the roll of six pupils, falling to four from August 2022, is too small to effectively meet the needs of their children.

“Pupils residing within the Kilchrenan catchment area and currently attending the school will be transported to Taynuilt Primary.

“If there are no registered pupils by the commencement of session 2023/24, it is proposed that a preliminary assessment of options regarding the future of the school be undertaken by way of an options appraisal, in accordance with the preliminary requirements of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.

“Should the school subsequently considered for formal closure, a statutory consultation process in accordance with the 2010 Act will be necessary.”

Mr Hendry said the school roll had been falling for a number of years, declining rapidly over a short period of time due to families’ wishes for a denominational school.

He added: “As of February 2022 there are no pupils in Kilchrenan Primary School. Pupils residing within the Kilchrenan catchment area currently attend schools within Oban or Taynuilt. There are no primary one pupils registered to attend Kilchrenan in session 2022/23.

“All members of staff from Kilchrenan Primary School have either been redeployed into other posts within the authority or accepted redundancy.

“It is recommended that the school is mothballed on a temporary basis until March 2023, at which point members will decide on whether to continue to mothball the school or begin the pre-consultation process.

“In the event of a school age pupil moving to live within the catchment area for Kilchrenan Primary School and seeking to attend the school, the present situation is that the school may require to re-open at the next appropriate session if a sufficient level of demand for the school can be demonstrated and if staff can be recruited.”

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