A QUEEN ANNE HIGH pupil is fighting to save her school’s business department.

S5 pupil Nicole Sloanes started a petition to help reverse a decision that could see the department scrapped due to budget cuts by Fife Council.

The decision would mean pupils just like Nicole will be losing out on qualifications such as Business Management, Administration & IT, Financial Services and Travel and Tourism and the petition attracted 1,335 signatures in its first week.

Nicole told the Press: “There is quite a big group of us that will be affected, maybe about 50 pupils.

“We were told last month that down to budget cuts they would be cutting the whole department next year.

“There is only one teacher for the whole department, there used to be more.

“We’re not quite sure if we can go somewhere else but nobody wants to do that with transport issues.

“I just don’t think this is right. I have put a lot of effort into my course and next year it will be just snatched away.

“I should be able to study what I want to. I believe business is a subject that will help me with my future.”

If the department is cut then Nicole, who is currently studying a National 5 qualification in Travel and Tourism, will not be able to take a Higher in Administration next year.

Nicole said she and a few other pupils concerned about the issue had requested a meeting with the school’s rector, Ruth MacFarlane, but claims she declined to meet.

“On the rector’s behalf, it was said that there will be a meeting in December to speak about any issues but the pupils that attend this meeting will be chosen, so it’s not definite that we will be able to speak about our concerns,” Nicole continued.

“The business department is a vital need for pupils to be able to learn about the importance of technology and information needed for the future. So taking this subject away from the pupils seems ludicrous and we need something to happen to save the department.

“I decided to start a petition on social media to raise awareness with parents and the public.

“All sorts of people have supported it and now I have contacted councillors to see what else can be done.

“Most parents feel the same as the pupils. Schools should be offering as many opportunities as possible for pupils, not taking things away.”

Earlier this month, the Press reported Conservative education spokesperson Councillor Kathleen Leslie’s fears that the decision to cut the department had been taken already despite consultation just getting under way.

She said she had contacted the education department and written to the school’s headteacher but had been unable to get any answers.

“The young people of Fife deserve better,” she said.

Philip Black, head of education and children’s services, said: “At this stage in the session, all our schools are beginning to plan for the curriculum on offer for next session.

“This is a very detailed process to support young people and their parents/carers to make key decisions about course choice.

“This consultation process is about to begin in Queen Anne and will provide the school with an indicative level of interest in each course, which can vary from year to year.

“After this consultation, the school will plan a curriculum based on pupil choice and viability of courses on offer.

“Final decisions about the curriculum on offer in Queen Anne will not be made before the end of January.”

Nicole’s petition can be found at www.change.org/p/everyone-save-queen-anne-high-school-business-department