Council’s U-turn on places at Kirkcaldy school

Strathallan Primary School
Strathallan Primary School

EDUCATION chiefs have done a complete U-turn on a decision to refuse 13 children, living outwith catchment, a place at Strathallan Primary.

As reported in last week’s Press, parents had expressed frustration and disappointment after learning their youngsters would not be granted a place at the top school in August despite a classroom lying empty at the school.

They blamed Fife Council for being unwilling to take on an extra teacher.

But on Tuesday it emerged that the local authority has re-evalutated the situation after a family moved into the catchment area and an additional class is to be created.

Those children who had previously missed out on a place are now to be part of that extra class.

Under the original decision 44 catchment children and one pupil outwith the catchment area had been granted a place for the start of the new school year.

This week, Gordon Wardrope, education officer with the Council, told the Press: “Following the movement of a family into the Strathallan Primary School catchment area, the education and learning directorate, working with the headteacher has formed an additional P1 class for session 2013/14.

“Those parents whose placing requests were previously declined will be contacted by the headteacher regarding the additional places now available at Strathallan Primary School.”

The change of heart has been welcomed by parents who were worried about the impact the original decision would have on the young children - many of whom already attend nursery at Strathallan - and on some elder siblings attending the school.

By not allowing children into P1 classes, some parents were having to consider moving older children out of the school as it would be logistical nightmare to have their family at different schools.

Councillor George Kay, whose ward includes Strathallan, is pleased the Council has taken the decision and the situation has been resolved.

The SNP councillor had intended to hold a meeting with the affected families and others in the community on Tuesday evening to discuss the situation, however this was cancelled as news of the change in decision emerged that day.

Cllr Kay said: “I’m absolutely over the moon about this.

“We have corrected what I think was very much an injustice that’s been done to the pupils.

“For once common sense has prevailed.”

One of the main frustrations felt by the parents who contacted the Press last week was that such a high performing school as Strathallan , which received the highest accolade in a recent HMIe report, would not be running at full capacity.