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ECS Adaptation Issues and Priorities _99kb pdf_

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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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