OPTIONS on the way forward for secondary education in the east of Kirkcaldy are being discussed with local parents at special meetings this week.
Parents from Dysart, Sinclairtown, Pathhead and Kirkcaldy North primary schools parent councils were due to meet Fife Council Leader Alex Rowley, executive member for education councillor Bryan Poole and education officials at a special meeting in Viewforth High School on Wednesday.
And parents from Viewforth HS parent council will have the chance of the same discussion tonight (Thursday).
Cllr Poole said: “It’s really important that we get together with parents as we want to hear their views on where their children should be educated. We’ll hear a presentation from education officials on the options being considered and we’ll then break into groups to allow everyone to have their say.
“We want an honest and open discussion with parents on the options open to us. Every child has the right to a quality education and in surroundings that are fit for purpose.
“We want to get this right for Kirkcaldy and it’s important that we listen to what parents have to say.”
It’s estimated that the likely cost of a new 1000 pupil high school is around £28.5 million. The Council currently has identified £12.5 million from the capital budget and would be relying on contributions from housing developers to make up the shortfall in funding for a new school. Options for discussion include: providing a new 1000 pupil high school with flexibility for future expansion as developer contributions become available; providing a new age 3 – 18 primary / secondary school in Kirkcaldy - again this would be dependent on developer contributions; merging the existing Viewforth and Kirkcaldy High Schools to form one large high school on an extended and re-modelled Kirkcaldy High campus, a refurbishment of the existing Viewforth High School. At the moment, out of a capacity of 640 there are currently 384 children attending Viewforth High.
Cllr Poole added: “There are big decisions to be made here and we want them to be informed decisions. We need a full picture from parents, teachers and the local community on their preferences.” A further report on progress will be discussed at the council’s Executive Committee in due course.