Out of catchment sibling places will be harder to come by - MacLaren

Parents are being advised to be cautious when applying for out of catchment school places if they want younger brothers and sisters to go to the same school in the future.

The concern comes after the City of Edinburgh Council was forced to temporarily raise P1 class size limits to 30 from a previous limit of 25. 

Out of catchment siblings are currently prioritised ahead of other requests and are allocated places where possible. This will still be the case but with government class size legislation expected over the next year, P1 class limits are likely to revert to 25 meaning that there will be greater demand for fewer sibling places.

City of Edinburgh Council Education Leader Cllr Marilyne MacLaren said:

"We called for government action some time ago to avoid this situation but as no action was taken we had to increase the limit to 30 as a temporary measure for this year.  We hope to see legislation in place next year so we can get back on track with our drive to reduce class sizes.

"This temporary increase in class size limits will mean more choice for parents but only for this year.  When considering schooling options, parents need to be aware that if their child gets an out of catchment place this year, it will become more difficult in future years to offer places at the same school to their brothers and sisters when they come through the system.

"Obviously they will be prioritised as they always are but the simple fact is that there will be less space when limits go back to 25."

"We are committed to reducing pupil teacher ratios and we have taken big steps towards making this happen across Edinburgh.  Regardless of the challenges, we fully expect that more than 20% of our P1 pupils in disadvantaged areas will be in classes of 18 or less by the start of the new school year in line with the government targets."

Cllr MacLaren wrote to the Education Secretary last summer to ask for an urgent review into class size limits and to request new legislation to clarify and enforce the Scottish Government's policy on reducing class sizes. 


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