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SERVICE ISSUES AND PRIORITIES IDENTIFIED DURING MEETING – 3rd September 2009 No Issue / Priority Comment Potential Action(s) suggested by Group 1 School Closures Climate Change could result in more school closures, for longer Review of the decision making process periods and more frequently due to disruptions in transport links and flooding. Currently most parents tune in to MFR to learn about school closures but other digital processes have been put in place included a phone and pin Service? There could be a need in the future to review how information is provided to parents and to review the decision making process about school closures. Severe events may result in damages to the school estate that Share monitoring information – records of prevent pupils returning to their place of education while repairs which schools are closed, for how long and for are being made. In such circumstance alternative accommodation what reason. would need to be provided for pupils to ensure they do not lose out on education. ECS have past experience of using village halls and modular porta cabins when children have had to be re-located. This experience could be drawn upon to help ECS plan for future weather events. A strategic contingency plan could not be drawn up as every school in Highland would have it’s own individual circumstances Include long-term school closure in Risks for Service. 2 Building Standards in There were some discussions over whether schools are fit for Liaise with P&D to ensure Sustainable Design School Estate purpose and examples given of schools on floodplains or affected Guidance provides “fit for purpose” schools in by flooding and contaminated water. ECS are not responsible for relation to changing weather patterns. the planning decisions nor building standards but could ensure that through the Sus Dev guidance produced by P&D standards for schools are met. Example of increased run-off from tarmac on playgrounds in winter and heat reflection in summer was given. Possibly could need more trees for shade in school playgrounds etc..These issues could be expanded upon. 3 Virtual Education There is a proposal to put in a bid to the EU Commission for Review success of virtual learning and explore funding to enable five Highers to be taught online through virtual investment to take further. learning. Such technology could be used in the event of school closure or broken transport links however it should be noted that virtual learning is not to replace formal education in schools as schools are also all about the social experience and getting together of pupils. 4 School Maintenance Felt and tar roofs will suffer greatly following periods of hot Create database of flat roofed buildings in weather and may crack and no longer be water tight resulting in School estate. increased maintenance. Examples could be expanded upon.. There may be a need for increased grounds maintenance as Develop strategic guidance on grounds growing seasons lengthen. There will need to be adequate clearing maintenance to account for changing weather of drains to allow for water run-off etc. Examples could be patterns. Basic housekeeping rules etc. expanded upon. 5 Eco-Schools and It was noted that the Eco-schools work does not currently touch Explore options for Adaptation Education that Community and upon Adaptation issues and focuses mainly in Mitigation (reduce schools may wish to participate in as part of Environment sub group our impact upon the environment). There is an opportunity to link their work towards Curriculum for excellence/ Adaptation Education into Curriculum for Excellence work Eco-schools. through the Community and Environment sub group. There are few other areas where examples of education for adaptation can be found but the Clim-ATIC project is currently doing a video project with pupils from CNPA secondary schools. 7 Safer Routes to School Walking and cycling to school is a positive Climate Change Continued work with TEC’s Safer Routes to Mitigation action because it reduces carbon emissions from car School exhausts, but it also helps to build resilience against adverse weather when roads and other transport may be disrupted so can be viewed as Adaptive. There may be less need to close schools if children are within walking or cycling distance. Adverse weather should not deter children from walking or cycling but a focus should me made on the wearing of appropriate clothing for the conditions (e.g. bright, waterproof and warm). 8 Recreational Activities Changing Seasons may lead to changes in recreational and Continued promotion of Hi-life schemes. sporting activities. For example, the junior shinty season has been changed because of the poor winter weather. Fair weather results in fewer people making use of leisure centres and indoor sporting facilities. Could result in reduced revenue at such sites. Noted that Hi-life card does not affect income as it is paid monthly over a year long period. Longer direr summers could see more seasonality in the use of sports centres. Curriculum activities may have to change in light of changing weather patterns. Reduced snow coverage might remove skiing altogether from the winters sports activities. Playing fields and sports pitches may become waterlogged in winter. 9 Dissemination of Public interested in learning more about climate change should be Library Climate Change Package information through encouraged to make use of their libraries. Raising awareness and libraries understanding amongst the public will help them to become more self-resilient and less dependent upon the outside services of others in helping them to cope with a changing climate. To accompany any direct information provided to the public, for example, in the form of leaflets, the library Service could use a softer approach providing a Climate Change package aimed at signposting and informing the public, targeting those who have expressed an interest and helping them to interpret information. 10. Asset/ Staff Should buildings close the resultant carbon emissions will drop as Rationalisation energy use falls, so this will be a positive Climate Change Mitigation Action, but fewer buildings and staff will require the remaining building users and staff to travel greater distances. This will affect Climate Change Adaptation in a negative way. As has been demonstrated by the LCLIP study in Highland, travel impairment is the greatest impact of weather events. Reduced need to travel will help build resilience to these weather events. When buildings and staff are rationalised use of IT technologies such as virtual learning, video conferencing etc will help reduce the risks associated with travel impairment. 11. English as a second One future impact of a changing climate could be the in-migration Continued monitoring of English as a second language of people from places worst affected by changing weather patterns language to demonstrate any upward trends both in the UK (low lying areas such as East Anglia) and Europe with view to providing teacher training and (Mediterranean and areas affected by excessive heat waves). further expansion of English as a second Couple this with the expected renewable energy potential of language work if required. Highland region and the potential is for a population increase with more mixed cultures and languages. School accommodation and teaching staff may have to increase to provide for the increased populations.
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