Edinburgh to tackle issue of rising roles

Edinburgh’s Capital Coalition has set up a group to find solutions to tackle the impact of rising roles in the city’s primary schools.

This is an issue many local authorities in Scotland face and a combination of rising birth rates, migration and economic factors mean that our primary school population has seen a 5% rise this year and an anticipated rise of a further 19% by 2019.

Councillor Paul Godzik, Convener of Education, Children and Families, said: "One of our earliest coalition decisions was to set up a cross-party Forum on Children and Families Estate Evaluation. Parents, union and church representatives have also been invited to participate. By doing this we aim to discuss the issues in an open way from the very start of the decision making process."

While some of the issues are longer term and can be addressed over a number of years, immediate action may be required for a small number of schools (Balgreen, Granton, Trinity, Victoria and Wardie). This is to ensure they can provide places for their catchment population in August 2013.

These schools are facing challenges because they are popular with parents and the Capital Coalition plans to build high quality extensions if required to support parents who wish to send their child to their catchment school.

A number of medium and longer term measures also need to be explored by the Forum including the use of general purpose space such as computer suites, libraries, arts and music.

Councillor Godzik continued: "Thriving schools like Sciennes and Stockbridge Primary schools are delivering first class education, even though space is at a premium. I think it is only right with the predicted rise in school rolls that we consider reviewing GP space across the city. "

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