Senior Education Officer
West Dunbartonshire Council
10 May 2022
Dear Andrew Brown,
SCHOOLS (CONSULTATION) (SCOTLAND) ACT 2010: WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE COUNCIL – AUCHNACRAIG AND LENNOX EARLY LEARNING AND CHILDCARE CENTRES
I refer to your email of 23 March 2022 notifying Scottish Ministers of West Dunbartonshire Council’s decision of 16 March 2022 to implement the proposal to close Auchnacraig and Lennox ELCCs. Ministers have considered this proposal in line with the requirements set out in the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 (“the 2010 Act”).
Under section 17 of the 2010 Act, Ministers may only issue a call-in notice if it appears to them that the education authority may have failed:
(a) in a significant regard to comply with the requirements imposed on it by (or under) the Act so far as they are relevant in relation to the closure proposal, or
(b) to take proper account of a material consideration relevant to its decision to implement the proposal.
Section 15(2) of the 2010 Act requires an education authority to provide a copy of the proposal paper and the consultation report prepared under the Act to Ministers when notifying them of a closure proposal.
Section 15(4) of the 2010 Act requires Ministers to take into account any relevant representations made to them by any person during the 3 week period from the date that a closure decision is made. In relation to this closure proposal, the 3 week period began on 16 March 2022 and expired on 5 April 2022. There were no representations received.
Having reviewed the documents provided by West Dunbartonshire Council under section 15(2), Ministers consider that West Dunbartonshire Council has fulfilled its obligations under the 2010 Act and do not intend to issue a call-in notice for this proposal.
West Dunbartonshire Council may now implement its decision to close Auchnacraig and Lennox ELCCs in line with the timescales set out in its proposal paper.
As noted in Education Scotland’s report, on the closure of Auchnacraig and Lennox ELCC, West Dunbartonshire Council should continue to consult and communicate effectively with children, parents, staff and the wider community to engage them fully in the future planning and design stages of the proposal. This includes sharing information from the options paper presented to the committee about the preferred use of the St Joseph’s site over Edinbarnet.
Deputy Director, Workforce, Infrastructure and Digital Division
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