Progress Update on Facilities at Stornoway Primary

Members of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Education, Sport and Children’s Services Committee will today hear a progress update on the improvement of physical facilities at Stornoway Primary School.

A facilities working group, which consists of school staff, parents and Comhairle officers, including representation from Education, Community Learning & Development and Sport & Health, was established and convened in January 2018.

The school has been working over the last twelve months to improve the use and quality of space in and around the building with the support of the facilities group. This work progressed under the leadership of the previous headteacher and continued after a new headteacher took up post at the school in September 2018.

Shortly after the establishment of the Facilities Group, a joint report ‘Stornoway Primary – Review of Site, Accommodation and Capacity’ was commissioned by the Chief Executive, Director of Education and Children’s Services and Director of Technical Services and the recommendations of the report have been considered by the group.  As well as accessing the specialism of the Comhairle officers in the group, it has called upon representation from SportScotland to advise about specifications, costs and potential funding options as they explore the implications of larger-scale developments.

The facilities group has used the joint report and other information from school staff and parents to draw up an action plan to prioritise improvements whilst recognising the current and potential resources available to them to progress such actions.

Chairman of the Committee, Cllr Angus McCormack, said: “Under the leadership of both the current and previous headteacher and in collaboration with the facilities group and parent council, a number of recommendations have been addressed in the last twelve months. There has been a systematic review of materials being held in storage and a significant amount of materials and furniture have been removed. In addition, several storage spaces have been re-designated or better organised to allow for more efficient use. This has removed the use of corridors for storage. The school has increased the use of the HT Office for management duties and for meetings with parents, partners and others. The change in the degree of use of the HT office has freed up the room known as the upstairs office to be used as a dedicated staff CPD base to allow them to prepare for lessons and complete other professional duties.

“I am very pleased to see the progress being made and we will continue to work closely with the school and the parent council over the next few months.”

Current projections for the school roll in 2019-20 indicate that there will be a reduction of approximately 4% since the joint report was produced, resulting in the number of full-time classes reducing from twenty to nineteen. From August 2019, it is expected that the school will have access to an additional room. Discussions about this space include potential use as a library or a space for nurture, therapy or additional teaching. Once the roll figures are confirmed, a decision will be made about the use of the additional room.