Thursday, 25 November 2010


At the time of posting (November 2010), there is once again a vehement discussion going on about closing rural schools in the Outer Hebrides. Many rural schools were axed in the late 1980s, and another round of closures could see numbers of schools reduced by up to 11. Two schools had no pupils in the previous school year, which highlights the problem of depopulation. Back in 1960, the Secretary of State for Scotland was asked about the number of pupils in five Lewis Schools. It showed the marked decline over the preceding 40 years. I have added the 2010 school roll.

1920 1930 1939 1950 19592010
Tolsta 234 185 185 165 14549
Bernera 96 92 90 43 4518
Carloway 173 97 108 63 6430
Balallan 99 67 36 42 4527
Shawbost 226 150 124 181 13795

It should be noted that Carloway and Balallan schools are threatened with closure, as is the junior secondary school at Shawbost.

1 comment:

  1. Postscript May 2015: The Carloway and Balallan schools have now closed, as has the junior secondary school at Shawbost. For the record, the junior secondary department at Lionel School is due to close this year.