A PUPIL has challenged the head of Queen Anne High over comments made about the future of the school’s business teaching. 

Rector Ruth McFarlane told the Press that there were no plans to remove the department but S6 pupil Tayler Martin branded the comments as “wholly inaccurate”. 

A petition to save the business department was started in November after S5 pupil Nicole Sloanes claimed she and her classmates were told that the business curriculum would be scrapped next year due to budget cuts. 

It gained support from former pupils who deemed plans to axe the subject as “madness”, and, so far, has the backing of 1,402 signatures. 

Tayler told the Press: “I study multiple courses that involve that department, I am glad that this is my last year at the school because next year I wouldn’t have been able to sit any of these courses. 

“The rector’s comment about ‘no decision to scrap the business department has been made’ is wholly inaccurate because she has told selective pupils that next year you can go to college to study business. 

“But why would we need to go there if we have our own business department with a teacher? 

“She is not explaining anything clearly or in detail.”

Tayler claimed Ms McFarlane had only spoken to Nicole Sloanes, who started the petition, and a few others about their concerns and there had been no further mention of a public meeting. 

“I have no idea if there will be a meeting or who it will involve,” he said. 

“No-one has spoken to the business classes, only a few pupils. 

“I could understand why they would cut the department if classes were short but every year they actually have to turn down students. It’s a very popular subject.

“Currently, we have pupils that go to Fife College on Monday and Wednesday for other courses but in order for them to make it they have to miss two classes. 

“Therefore, if they moved business to college, pupils would miss valuable class time in other subjects.”

Although Tayler, who studies business management, travel and tourism and financial services for his Highers, will not be affected personally by the decision, he still wants to lend his support to the younger pupils. 

He added: “Cutting these subjects will not give us the same opportunities that others have had in the past and it puts teachers under pressure. 

“If they had consulted with parents and students they would see the number of people that want the department to stay. 

“I would urge the rector to make it clear what is happening and why it is happening.” 

Last month, Ruth McFarlane explained that no decision to scrap the business department had been made. 

She previously said: “This misunderstanding is very unsettling for pupils in the school and their families. We have started to plan for the curriculum on offer for next session and this will help us to determine the level of interest in courses, which can vary from year to year. 

“After the consultation, we’ll be able to plan a curriculum based on pupil choice and viability of courses. Early next year, we’ll have these results and will work hard to make sure we can deliver on them, particularly as business is a curriculum area that can be difficult to recruit teachers into.

“I’ve met with the pupils who started the petition to ensure that they fully understand this process and have thankfully alleviated their concerns.”