Public to be consulted on primary school pressures in south Edinburgh

A statutory consultation will begin in August 2015 to consider options to deal with primary school capacity and accommodation pressures in south Edinburgh.

The decision was agreed at the meeting of the Education, Children & Families Committee today (Tuesday 19 May) after councillors discussed the Primary School Capacity Pressure in South Edinburgh report.

The three primary schools in that area of the city - South Morningside, James Gillespie’s and Bruntsfield – face significant pressures due to rising pupil rolls. The report outlines three options to address the pressures.

They are:

  1. establish a new primary school on the combined site of the existing South Morningside Primary School Deanbank temporary annexe and the adjacent Oaklands Care Home;
  2. extend the capacity of South Morningside to four streams by establishing a permanent annexe of the school accommodating the nursery to P3 stages on the combined site of the existing Deanbank temporary annexe and the Oaklands Care Home; or
  3. maintain and improve the existing accommodation arrangements by permanently establishing South Morningside’s Deanbank temporary annexe including the provision of a new gym and relocating the South Morningside Primary School nursery to the Deanbank site.

Councillor Paul Godzik, Education Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The area to the south of the city has traditionally experienced a higher increased pressure on primary school places than other parts of the city. The three affected primary schools all operate from constrained sites with no dedicated playing fields and the ability to extend capacity on their existing sites is severely limited.

“So we are now putting forward formal options for consideration to allow parents and other interested parties to have their say. We believe this is a big step forward, and I would encourage local people to make their views known and contribute to the consultation.

“There has been a demand in the area for a solution to this issue for a growing number of years but providing one is not an easy process. Parents will now be able to express their views fully and evaluate the different options we are suggesting.”

Details of the statutory consultation will be publicised soon. It will run for a minimum of 30 school days and a report on the outcome will be submitted to a future Council meeting.

The Council’s Finance and Resources Committee last week agreed that additional funding received from the sale of the current Boroughmuir High School should be prioritised to secure the Oaklands Care Home site. 

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