Wishart blasted for‘scare tactics’ at school
Pete Wishart MP has been accused of“scaremongering”on the future of Pitlochry High School.
The representative for Perth and Perthshire North wrote to education boss Cllr Caroline Shiers to ask her to make clear the position of the school in the local authority’s school estates review’s second phase.
He said he wants assurances that Perth and Kinross Council will not close the school.
Mr Wishart said:“I have written to Cllr Shiers to ask her to clarify the council’s position on the future of Pitlochry High School. We have seen the damage that can be done to the future of a school when the threat of closure hangs over it.
“It is understandable that parents are demanding clarity on the future of the school and it is vital that Perth and Kinross Council are clear with parents on the timeline for its future.”
In the letter, he added:“Given the nature of these proposals, are you in a position to either rule out closure for Pitlochry High School or at least give parents an idea of how long this threat of closure may continue to be in place?”
Conservative Convenor of Lifelong Learning, Cllr Caroline Shiers, described the claim as “scaremongering and deeply irresponsible.”
Cllr Shiers said:“Despite the cuts in council funding handed down by the SNP at Holyrood, I am committed to seeing education provision in Highland Perthshire enhanced, not diminished.
“The school estate review process, instigated by the previous SNP administration, which I have personally attended each stage of, unlike SNP councillors, has allowed the council to engage with communities across Perth and Kinross.
“Perhaps SNP councillors might like to ask Mr Wishart why he no longer supports the review they set up to ensure our school estate is fit for the future - are they now content to allow our school estate to crumble through lack of investment, because we certainly are not.
“I will be contacting parent councils of schools in phase two within the next couple of weeks, to give them an update on the process and to ensure they are kept fully informed.
“Scaremongering about the future of Pitlochry High School for party political purposes in the heat of a by-election, is deeply irresponsible, but sadly all too typical of the approach that has been taken by Mr Wishart and his SNP colleagues on the council.
“We have seen Mr Wishart make all kind of similar claims in relation to other schools as part of the estate review but I believe that what we are delivering will be local schools which really do offer children and young people the very best opportunities across Perth and Kinross.”