Next wave of primary schools identified for rising rolls

Eight primary schools have been identified by the City of Edinburgh Council as potentially having accommodation issues for August 2016 due to rising rolls.

The Primary School Estate Rising Rolls report highlights possible pressures for P1 places for August 2016 at Balgreen, East Craigs, Ferryhill, Fox Covert, Granton, Roseburn, St Mary’s RC (Leith) and Towerbank Primary Schools.

Consultation will now take place with the eight school communities including the recommendation for a catchment review at Towerbank Primary School.

The report will be discussed at the Education, Children and Families Committee next week (Tuesday 3 March). 

Councillor Paul Godzik, Education Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “In the past two years we have delivered an additional 46 modern, high quality class spaces in our primary school estate and a further 24 will be delivered for this August.

“The issue of rising rolls will be here for many years to come so it’s important that we consider all the available options when creating space for our pupils. Key to this is our consultation with local school communities which has been really positive.

“Whilst catchment review has always been a possible option this is the first time we have put forward a solid proposal for a catchment review due to an issue of rising rolls. Towerbank Primary School has already been extended, the playground is relatively small, and so rather than further reducing the playground space, the proposal is to undertake a catchment review with neighbouring primary schools.

“There will be no impact for children currently at the school. Also in future years those with younger siblings in these areas would be offered priority for placing requests into Towerbank for any spare places that were available.

“However I want to reassure all parents at Towerbank and neighbouring schools that we will listen to their views and take them on board when it comes to making a final decision.”

The official consultation for Towerbank is due to start from mid May but the Council will meet with schools and parent council representatives before then to discuss the proposals. These meetings will establish if any amendments should be made before the formal consultation gets underway with the outcome being reported to Council for a final decision in October.

Currently there are 28,010 primary school pupils but latest estimates show this will rise to 31,700 by 2020 and then increase further to 35,400 by 2030.

The City of Edinburgh Council will deliver 24 new class spaces which are needed for the start of the 2015/16 session. Schools set to benefit are: Clermiston (4 classes), Flora Stevenson (3), Gilmerton (4), James Gillespie’s (4), Pentland (3), Ratho (4) and Wardie (2).

In addition South Morningside Primary School will have a temporary annexe created for P1 and P2 pupils at Deanbank Resource Centre and extra internal space will be provided at both Brunstfield and Liberton Primary Schools.

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