It’S time to put the cards on the table and seek the public’s views on the the future of Kirkcaldy’s Viewforth High School.
Councillors have decided an “open and honest” discussion is needed with local people on the options for secondary education in the east of Kirkcaldy, including building a new school or merging Viewforth with Kirkcaldy High.
Fife Council’s executive committee heard on Tuesday the cost of a new 1000 pupil high school would be around £28.5m.
The Council has £12.5m in its capital budget to help pay for this, with the rest due to come from housing developers – but with no building going on, there’s little prospect of funding being available in the near future.
That would mean significant borrowing to make up the shortfall – or coming up with an alternative proposal.
Council leader Alex Rowley said: “We are committed to improving the educational experience for children in Kirkcaldy East and a number of options are on the table to help us do that and move forward.
“I would urge people to get involved in discussions organised over the next few weeks on the best way forward for the area.”
The current options are providing a new 1000 pupil high school in Kirkcaldy East with flexibility to allow for future expansion as developer contributions become available; providing a new 3-18 years combined primary and secondary school, again dependent on developer contributions; or merge Viewforth and Kirkcaldy High Schools to form one large high school on an extended and remodelled Kirkcaldy High campus.
Councillor Bryan Poole, the executive member for education, said: “There are big decisions to be made and we need a full picture from parents, teachers and the local community on their preferences for secondary education.”
However, SNP group leader, Councillor Peter Grant, criticised the Labour administration, which had made an “unconditional promise to deliver a new secondary in Kirkcaldy” in its election manifesto.
He asked: “What will they do if parents don’t accept their bail-out option?”