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
Include long-term school closure in Risks for
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.
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
Playing fields and sports pitches may become waterlogged in
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.