THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA

Excerpts from issue 49/07 15 January 2022

islay young farmers
Islay's young farmers plough their own furrow

On the Sunday prior to Christmas, and in order to re-establish Islay Young Farmers' Club, a substantial number of tractors, at least one of which contained Santa Claus, assembled at Bridgend Mart before travelling to the Square in Bowmore.
The organisers issued thanks to all who helped towards the success of the event, one which raised £800 for Islay and Jura Sick Children's Fund. Thanks were also due to Duffie MacNeill who judged the 'Best Decorated Tractor' competition, Agri-Services who donated the winner's prize and to the police and council for ensuring the event took place safely.
Winners were 1st, Calum MacTaggart, 2nd Mitchell Woodrow, 3rd Gregor Ferguson.

Photo: Kathryn MacPherson

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In this week's issue:

CalMac catches Covid, Extension to education consultation, Ardfin estate acquires Jura Hotel, Free bus travel for under 22s, Islay's Young Farmers plough their own furrow, Soarcha Baker succeeds again, December Pipe-athon, Bertie Brown retires from Islay Maltings, GCN + gravel cycling + whisky, RSPB BIg Garden Birdwatch, Worrying corncrake numbers, Heather's NYC success, Sidekick charity is formed, IHS film for Film G, Islay Slimming World, That Was the Year That Was, 2021, DunlossitŐs Reindeer Ramble.

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Extension for education consultation

In December, the Ileach published a number of articles concerning the council's intention to add another tier of management to the region's schools, placing as yet, un-named clusters of schools under the jurisdiction of 'Executive Heads'. This initiative has now been re-named as 'The Collective Leadership Model'.
Keen to hear the views of residents within the region, the council had originally intimated that the closing date for returning completed survey forms would be Friday, 4 February, but have now extended that to 4 March.
Scotland's teaching union, the EIS, have indicated that these proposals are likely to reduce around 80 present head teacher posts to a possible 14. An EIS sokesperson said, "It is unclear from the proposals exactly what the role and remit of Executive Heads would be or what the true educational rationale is." However, it had been previously stated that there would be no compulsory redundancies effected within the scheme.
Consternation has also been voiced over the likely possibility that an executive head teacher drawn from the ranks of a secondary school, would be ill-equipped to oversee a group of primary schools, or that a primary teacher would become responsible for a secondary school. Parents argue that the identity of individual schools would be lost and that the relationship between them and the head teacher of their school would diminish.
However, the Ileach understands that the council has engaged the services of an independent marketing agency at a cost of £23,000 to assist with the consultation.
Kintyre and the Islands councillor, Alastair Redman, who is not in favour of the proposals, said that by extending the consultation deadline, the council were, in effect, "...admitting that it had not given people enough time or information in the first place."
Cllr. Redman said that many of those to whom he had spoken, felt that the council were trying to sell a product, rather than host a consultation. He added, "I am also asking the council for proof that this particular model has worked elsewhere in the past, and that it would do so in the future."
Policy lead for education, Cllr. Yvonne MacNeilly previously stated that, "The best outcomes for our young people are at the heart of all our work. We are a council that listens to our communities and this proactive engagement programme will be at the core of our decision-making."
According to the council, community councils, parent councils, teachers and school staff should now all have a copy of the proposal and a feedback form. If they have not yet received this, they can contact support@empoweringoureducators.co.uk to request it in a suitable format.
All other members of the public can view and feedback on the proposal at EmpoweringOurEducators.co.uk
The proposed Collective Leadership Model will go to Argyll and Bute elected members for a decision in autumn this year.

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This is Islay
this is islay podcast

A new monthly podcast featuring individuals, personalities and features of Islay and Jura. Listen now at https://anchor.fm/thisisislay

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Ardfin Estate acquires Jura Hotel
jura hotel

According to the January issue of Jura Jottings, Jura Hotel, which was placed on the market in October last year, has now been sold to Ardfin Estate.
Jura Jottings continued to state that news of the sale had been greeted with concern by locals who were uncertain of the impact this would have on the island as a whole.
However, a spokesperson for Ardfin Estate told Jura Jottings, "Ardfin Estate are delighted to be the new owners of the Jura Hotel and intend to continue the operation in the same vein as the previous owners and hopefully if possible build on the success that Andy and Cath McCallum have had in their eleven years of owning the hotel."
Hospitality manager Mike Saxon will be looking for staff in the new year.

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New York success
heather metcalfe

Daughter of Malcolm and Carol Ogilvie of Bruichladdich, Heather Metcalfe, has been named as one of the 'Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs To Look Out For In 2022' by the New York City Journal.
Heather has helped women all over the world achieve mindset, health, and lifestyle shifts through specialist groups and private coaching programs. She has a love of helping people access greater levels of self-worth and fulfillment, also bringing skills and experience gained from over two decades as a top boardroom executive in multi-million dollar global companies.
Heather is also the founder of The Islay Diet, a revolutionary program that cures long-term dieting and emotional eating by focussing on the top-level reasons for obesity.

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE, Saturday 29 January 2022

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