‘We’ll listen to you on school review’ pledge

Alex Rowley says tough choices must be made
Alex Rowley says tough choices must be made
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THE views of parents, teachers, pupils and the wider community will be taken into account before any decisions are made on school closures, council leader Alex Rowley has promised.

The council is reviewing the future of schools in the area as it bids to cope with the funding problems facing it and there are concerns that those in poor condition, or with low pupil numbers could be shut down, or merged.

Leslie, Milton of Balgonie, Star and Caskieberran, Newcastle, Southwood, Tanshall and Warout primaries are all under two-thirds full.

Warout, Pitcoudie, Coaltown of Balgonie and Markinch were rated “poor” in terms of suitability in the ongoing review.

Commenting on the review, councillor Rowley said that action had to be taken.

He explained: “Our school buildings have to be efficient, effective and sustainable - our children deserve no less - and over the next few weeks we’ll be meeting with every parent council across Fife to discuss how we get there.

“Meetings are being organised with Parent Council groups across Fife over the next few weeks and I look forward to having a discussion with the parent representatives as a first stage of the review.”

“We need frank and honest discussion to help this review move forward.

“With the budget crisis we face over the next three years we can’t afford to spend significant amounts of money maintaining failing buildings and funding surplus school places.

“In some cases we are spending five times as much on one primary school place as we do on another.

“We have a responsibility to spend Fife taxpayers’ money on creating learning environments for our children that are fit for purpose now and in the future.

“The introduction of the curriculum for excellence is heralding an exciting time to be learning at school and we owe it to staff and pupils to help make sure they have a quality education experience.”

The review will not affect any of the three high schools in the Glenrothes area.

Although Auchmuty was rated as being in poor condition, a new school is currently under construction to replace the current 1950s building and is expected to open to pupils at the start of the 2013-14 school term.