We were extremely disappointed to find that our school has been targeted by a local councillor and even more so by the fact that the Gazette deemed it necessary to exaggerate his personal opinions with a sensationalised picture byline.
And, although we recognise that the Gazette has a duty to report on local news, the article which featured these comments was the community council round-up, which reports on discussions at Forres Community Council meetings. Dallas is not part of Forres but Heldon community council and therefore should not even have been part of discussion at this meeting.
It is our understanding that there are currently no active discussions with regard to specific school closures and that in fact at present Moray rural schools are still under the protection of a five year moratorium put in place in November 2014.
While we understand that the council will always have to actively seek to challenge budget spending, we do not feel it is acceptable for a councillor to single out Dallas Primary as his personal target.
In response to his specific comments regarding Dallas we would like to point out the following:
1. "Education in Moray is second class" - where he may feel this is the case in some schools it most certainly is not the case in Dallas, Moray Council’s draft consultation on Sustainable schools states: "The core issue for sustainability must be the continuing provision of a high quality education for the children" therefore why should our children be moved to somewhere Cllr Alexander feels is second rate, when in fact other children should be given the opportunity to attend somewhere first rate like Dallas.
2. "Pupils spend their primary school lives in composite classes" – does he feel this is of some detriment to children? Many schools across Moray have composite classes and the parents of Dallas certainly do not believe that this is of any detriment to our children, in fact it is often a benefit that they can be taught at the correct level for their ability, which is not always possible in larger schools.
3. "People are attached to the education establishment" – we are "attached" to having the provision of a local school, a school which is the centre of a thriving community, and a service which we have as much right to retain as any other town or community in Moray.
Dallas School Parents