Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010: guidance

For local authorities to consult on changes to schools (including nursery) such as closing, relocating or opening a new school.


5.1 Definitions

151. Section 21 of the 2010 Act provides definitions of terms in the 2010 Act.

152. In particular, the schools to which this Act refers are public schools as defined in section 135(1) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980. This means any school under the management of an education authority and includes nursery schools which are under authority management, i.e. are run by them.

153. The 2010 Act does not cover independent schools or nursery schools or nurseries which are managed and run independently, i.e. managed and run by persons or bodies other than local authorities.

5.2 Relevant proposals

154. Schedule 1 to the 2010 Act sets out all the categories of proposals to which this Act applies.

155. The provisions of sections 15-17 of the 2010 Act, relating to closure proposals, relate to all the categories of closure covered by paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 – for example, a proposal to discontinue a stage of education – not just to proposals for the closure of a whole school.

156. Paragraph 8 of this Schedule requires consultation on a proposal to discontinue arrangements for the provision of transport by the education authority for pupils attending a denominational school (but not a non-denominational school). While varying the transport arrangements for pupils attending a denominational school may reduce the numbers of pupils that would be eligible for free transport, it would not necessarily be considered to be a proposal to discontinue transport arrangements. It is for the authority to consider whether a particular variation amounts to a proposal to discontinue provision, taking into account the impact on the proposal for all pupils at the school, and to carry out a consultation where it concludes that transport has been discontinued.

157. The reference in paragraph 10 of this Schedule to further education centres is only to such centres which are managed by local authorities. At the present time, such centres exist only in Orkney and Shetland.

5.3 Relevant consultees

158. Schedule 2 to the 2010 Act identifies a core set of relevant consultees who should be consulted in connection with every type of proposal set out in Schedule 1. These are the Parent Council, parents of pupils attending an affected school as well as the pupils themselves, parents of pupils likely to attend an affected school, staff at an affected school, any trade union which appears to the education authority to be representative of those staff, and any other users whom the authority considers relevant. The Schedule also specifies other relevant consultees in relation to specific categories of proposal - for instance the Community Council is included where the impact is likely to affect the wider community. Additionally, paragraph 11 to the Schedule specifies that Bòrd na Gàidhlig is to be consulted when a proposal affects the provision of Gaelic medium education ( GME) such as where a GME class is to be established or discontinued or a GME school’s catchment is to be changed. Paragraph 12 to the Schedule makes clear that where a change is being proposed which affects a denominational school, the relevant church or denominational body must be consulted.

Scottish Government
Learning Directorate
May 2015



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