Consultation starts for primary school capacity pressures in south Edinburgh

A statutory consultation to tackle primary school capacity and accommodation pressures in south Edinburgh starts today (Monday 24 August).

The consultation covers the three primary school catchment areas covered by Bruntsfield, James Gillespie’s and South Morningside Primary Schools which have traditionally experienced pressure on places.

​The Deanbank Resource Centre and adjacent Oaklands Care Home on Canaan Lane have been identified as having the potential to allow a possible solution. The statutory consultation outlines three options for using either part or all of the combined site:

1. establish a new primary school;

2. increase the capacity of South Morningside Primary School; or

3. maintain and improve the existing accommodation arrangements at all three schools.

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 combined rolls of the three affected primary schools are the highest they have been in more than 30 years.

“All the schools operate from constrained sites with no dedicated playing fields and the ability to extend capacity on their existing sites is severely limited. However, the combined site we have identified gives us potential solutions.  

“The statutory consultation which starts today allows parents and other interested parties to have their say and we believe this is an important step forward.

“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.”

The statutory consultation will run until 6 October 2015. Comments can be made online and the full consultation paper can be viewed at one of the three primary schools or Morningside, Newington and Fountainbridge Libraries.

There are also four public meetings all taking place between 6.30pm and 8.30pm: South Morningside Primary School (Thursday 3 September), James Gillespie’s Primary School (Tuesday 8 September), Bruntsfield Primary School (Tuesday 22 September) and St Peter’s RC Primary School (Tuesday 29 September).

Comments can also be e-mailed to cf.propertyreview@edinburgh.gov.uk or posted to Gillian Tee, Executive Director of Communities and Families, The City of Edinburgh Council, Waverley Court (Level 1:2), 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG.

A report on the outcomes of the consultation will be considered by the Council on 4 February 2016 and will be published three weeks in advance.

The decision to hold a statutory consultation was agreed at the meeting of the Education, Children & Families Committee in May after Councillors discussed the Primary School Capacity Pressure in South Edinburgh report.

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