Community benefit vital in new school

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THE wider community benefits provided by both Kirkland and Buckhaven high schools must not be lost if a new combined Levenmouth facility is created.

That was the overwhelming opinion of senior Fife council members when they met to officially send the proposal out to public consultation this week.

Kirkland currently offers various community college classes but, if the school was to close, it’s unclear yet how these would continue.

Members of the Fife Council executive committee said at a meeting in Fife House on Tuesday that they are keen to make sure that nobody regularly using the schools for activities misses out.

Councillor Brian Goodall said: “Everybody knows how important this development is; it’s welcome news.

“However, there are quite a lot of wider community benefits given by the two schools and I hope we can maintain this level of service in the new school.”

It’s proposed that the new school will be built on the land currently used for playing fields at Buckhaven.

The Scottish Government has already said it will commit funding to it as part of the Scotland’s schools for the future programme, with the facility opening as early as 2016.

The council’s executive director of education, Ken Greer, described the proposal as a “huge opportunity” for not only Levenmouth but the rest of Fife.

He said: “We have to consult first of all, but this will bring a range of opportunities.

“There are issues with employability and sustainability in the area but, with the Energy Park on its doorstep, this can open up a lot more possibilities in education and training.”

Council leader Councillor Alex Rowley said locals could benefit from the moment the first brick is laid with the construction opportunities and jobs the building work would provide.

The public consultation into the construction of the Levenmouth school will get under way in November.