Benefits of joint Levenmouth campus welcomed

Working together: Fife Council is looking to work with Fife College to provide enhanced education provision  on the site of the new secondary school,  which will be built on land at the existing Buckhaven High.
Working together: Fife Council is looking to work with Fife College to provide enhanced education provision on the site of the new secondary school, which will be built on land at the existing Buckhaven High.

Councillors have welcomed the prospect of school and college education coming together on one site in Levenmouth.

They believe plans to replace Buckhaven and Kirkland high schools with one new secondary school, and bringing Fife College on site too, will help give the area’s young people the best possible start in life.

As reported in last week’s Mail, Fife Council has launched a formal consultation on the decision to close Buckhaven and Kirkland high schools.

And at last week’s executive committee meeting, where the decision was taken to go ahead with the consultation, councillors spoke with enthusiasm about the idea of college courses being provided on the same site alongside secondary school education.

Members heard there had been informal discussions between the Council and college, which would hopefully lead to a major expansion in learning oppoortunities.

Joe Fitzpatrick, head of education (east), told the committee: “We’re looking at creating a campus, and we’re looking for them (Fife College) to come on to the campus, but not physically connected to the school.

“Rather than the school and college operating from different areas of the town, the aim is to create something innovative on the one site.”

Council leader Alex Rowley described the plans as “groundbreaking”, and added: “What we are aiming for here is a new way of working together to give our children the best possible opportunities. It’s a new type of relationship between the council and college.”

Creating partnerships with local businesses, perhaps developing stronger links with Fife Energy Park to exploit the potential job opportunities in the renewable sector, was also welcomed.

But Levenmouth independent councillor Andrew Rodger stressed long-established businesses in the area, such as Stuart’s of Buckhaven and Diageo should not be forgotten, and should be approached too.

He added: “When people talk about Levenmouth, they tend to talk about deprivation. This will give a much-needed lift to the area. This is a welcome good news story.”