School catchment areas set to change

the catchment areas of a number of Kirkcaldy primary schools look set to be re-zoned and the S1 intake of Balwearie High capped in an extensive review of the whole of Kirkcaldy’s education provision.

The aim of the review is to ease overcrowding at some schools, particularly Dunnikier Primary and Balwearie High School and to plan ahead for future housing development in the town.

The review, which included consultation with parents, schools and HMI feedback, has recommended that Capshard, Fair Isle, Torbain, Dunnikier, Strathallan, Sinclairtown and Valley Primaries all be partially rezoned, some from August this year.

Rezoning

The rezoning would see certain streets within current school’s catchment areas moved to become part of other’s, such as Pentland Place rezoned from Dunnikier Primary to Valley Primary’s catchment and Ferrard Road and Oriel Crescent rezoned from Dunnikier Primary to Strathallan Primary.

And it also recommends that the S1 intake at Balwearie High School be capped at 300 from August, to prevent more overcrowding of the already stretched facilities.

The same report says that a phased relocation of the Department of Additional Support at Balwearie from 2013-14 be deferred until the position regarding the school roll becomes clearer.

Details

Consultation on the issue raised a lot of concerns among staff and parents about a lack of details, and the report stressed that this should be addressed nearer the time.

Education officials also recommended proposals to rezone areas of Dunearn Primary’s catchment be put back until the future of the school is decided.

The rezoning of Capshard, Fair Isle and Torbain schools will also only go ahead when a footpath is built across the Muttonhall area to allow pupils a safe route.

Fife Council’s education and children’s services committee will vote on the recommendations today (Thursday).

In a report detailing the proposed rezoning of catchment areas, HMI Inspectorate of Education said:

“There will be educational benefits for children in that they will be learning in less cramped accommodation and with better access to a wider range of educational resources.”