Education Department Got Their Maths Wrong Counting up 30 Consultation Days

20 February 2013

Earlier this month the Director of Education advised Councillors that the official date for the end of the formal consultation on the proposals for new schools in Menzieshill and Coldside had been extended. 

It is clear that the original date that had been notified in letters last month had been miscalculated.

Apparently staff had not taken account of the closure days for the half term holiday and Continuous Professional Development days when calculating the exact minimum period for the legally defined period of consultation.

Getting the maths wrong on a simple calculation is an embarrassing mistake for the Education Department to make.

"The Director of Education's separate letter for each of the three clusters of schools very formally reads:

'Addendum

Please note that the closing date for the consultation period is Thursday 14 March 2013.

This will ensure full compliance with the 30 day term period in line with the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.' 

This is also an expensive mistake.

To comply with government regulations, I understand that every parent and carer in each of the schools affected will have had to have been written to again by letter.

As a second class tamp costs 50p this will cost hundreds of pounds.

This is a most unwelcome waste of cash from the budget for schools which should have been avoided. 

Finally, given that the letter had to be sent out, I think the space left on the page could have been usefully used to remind parents and carers and others consulted that they had more time to send in their views to the Education Department and how to do this. 

Clarity in communication should be the hallmark of letters and reports from the Education Department and these letters are not a good example.

 Clearly the Education Department's Report Card should read, 'must do better'.