Kate Forbes MSP

Controversial plans over creating clusters of primary schools overseen by just one head have been discussed by Highland Council.

While five clusters, including one at Plockton were approved, others involving amongst them Mallaig and the Small Isles, were deferred.

Skye MSP Kate Forbes is one of those calling for more consultation over the whole plan which has been put forward, according to Education chief , Jim Stephen, not necessarily to save money, but about enhancing pupils' education.

However, the MSP said: "Based on conversations with local councillors and correspondence from worried parents in my constituency, it would appear that there has not been sufficient consultation on this particular proposal. I completely understand that the council is facing some very difficult decisions with limited resources, but they are not short on time.

"What is being proposed is a significant restructure in the management of our local schools, and one would assume that major changes such as this must go through a robust consultation. We have to allow teachers, parents and other stakeholders the opportunity to have their say in a transparent and fair way.

Earlier this week, I wrote to Highland Council asking for clarification on what consultation has taken place, what head teachers are expected to do, and whether the proposals will need the full backing of Highland Council."