Glencorse Primary School: consultation
Summary of process
Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010
- The Council has a number of statutory duties relating to the provision of education in its area including the statutory consultation that must be undertaken when proposing a permanent change to any of their schools, including Nursery Schools, such as closure, relocation or change of catchment area. The Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 principle purpose is:
“to provide strong, accountable statutory consultation practices and procedures that local authorities must apply to their handling of all proposals for school closures and other major changes to schools.”
- This Proposal Document has been prepared in accordance with the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010, having regard to the statutory guidance published by the Scottish Government on 14 May 2015, both of which are available for reference at the following websites:
- The process for consultation, summarised in this section, details how the Council is undertaking this consultation. Statutory Guidance (14 May 2015)
Consideration by Council
- The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 places a legislative duty on the Council to ensure the adequate and efficient provision of school education in their area. This duty applies in respect of both the current school population and anticipated pattern of demand. In addition, Councils have a statutory duty to secure best value in terms of the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003.
- This Proposal Document has been issued to seek views on the proposals in this paper and report back to Midlothian Council on the outcome of the consultation in order that the Council can make a decision on any proposed changes.
Proposal Document issued to consultees and published on Midlothian’s website
- An information leaflet setting out details about the proposal and consultation meetings will be issued to the consultees (listed on Background page).
- If requested, copies of the Proposal Document will also be made available in alternative formats or translated for readers whose first language is not English.
- A “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) document has also been prepared.
Publication of advertisement in local newspapers
- An advertisement will be placed in the Midlothian Advertiser, and a pre-announcement was made on the Council’s website and social media posts on 18 September 2020. In addition, there may be announcements related to the Proposal process on Midlothian’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feeds.
Length of Consultation Period
- The consultation period is from 25 September 2020 until close of business on 13 November 2020; a period of over 6 weeks, and includes the minimum 30 school days.
Format of Public Meetings
- Public meetings will be held on 13 and 15 October 2020.
- These meetings will be subject to Covid-19 restrictions and any advice from the Scottish Government.
Involvement of Education Scotland
- When the Proposal Document is published, a copy will be sent to Education Scotland by Midlothian Council. Education Scotland will also receive a copy of any relevant written representations that are received by the Council from any person during the consultation period, or if Education Scotland agree, a summary of them. Education Scotland will also receive a summary of any oral representations made at the public meetings and drop in sessions, and a copy of any other relevant documents.
- Education Scotland require three weeks to prepare a report on the educational aspects of the proposal after the Council has sent them all the representations and documents as mentioned above. The three-week period will not start until after the consultation period has ended. In preparing their report, Education Scotland may visit the affected schools and make such reasonable enquiries of such people there as they consider appropriate.
Preparation of the Consultation Report
- The Council will review the proposal having regard to the Education Scotland report, written representations that it has received and oral representations made to it by any person at the public meetings and drop in sessions. It will then prepare a final Consultation Report. The report will be published in electronic and printed formats and will be advertised in the local newspaper. It will be available on this website, from the affected schools and by request from Council Headquarters, Fairfield House, Dalkeith.
- Anyone who has made written representations during the consultation period will also be informed about the report. The Consultation Report will include a record of the total number of written representations made at the public meetings and drop in sessions, the Council’s response to the Education Scotland report as well as any written or oral representations it has received, together with the Education Scotland report and other relevant information. It will also set out the actions the Council has taken to address any alleged inaccuracies and omissions notified to it. The Consultation Report will also contain a statement explaining how it complied with the requirement to review the proposal in light of the Education Scotland Report and representation (both written and oral) that it received. The Consultation Report will be published and be available for further consideration for a period of 3 weeks.
- The Consultation Report together with any other documentation will be considered after the end of the 3-week period, by the Council who will come to a final decision on this matter.
Scottish Ministers Call-in
- At the end of the consultation process, Section 15 of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 enables ministers to call-in a decision to implement the proposed closure of Glencorse Primary School.
- Beginning on the day the final decision is taken, the Council has a period of six working days to notify Scottish Ministers of the decision. Scottish Ministers then have a period of up to eight weeks from and including the date of the Council’s decision to decide if they will call-in the proposal. The Council must publish the fact that the Scottish Ministers have been notified and that representations can be made to the Scottish Ministers within the first three weeks of the eight week period. The Scottish Ministers will take into account any relevant representations made to them by any person within the first three weeks. The Council may not proceed with the implementation of the proposal during the call-in period.
- If the Scottish Ministers decide to call-in a closure proposal, it is then referred to the Convener of the School Closure Review Panels who has a period of seven days after a call-in notice is issued, to constitute a School Closure Review Panel. The Panel may decide to refuse consent to the proposal, refuse consent and remit it to the education authority for a fresh decision or grant consent to the proposal, either subject to conditions, or unconditionally. The Panel must notify the education authority of its decision within eight weeks from when the Panel was constituted or within sixteen weeks if the Panel has issued a notice to the education authority that a decision has been delayed. The Council may not proceed with the implementation of the proposal until the outcome of the call-in has been notified to the Council.
- Timeline for the Consultation and Scottish Ministers Call-in periods.
Note on Corrections
- If any inaccuracy or omission is discovered in this Proposal Document either by the Council or any person, the Council will determine if relevant information has been omitted or there has been an inaccuracy. It may then take appropriate action which may include the issue of a correction or the reissuing of a Proposal Paper or the revision of the timescale for the consultation period if appropriate. In that event, relevant consultees and Education Scotland will be advised. The person, or persons who have raised concerns will receive an individual response to their submission.
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