Parents vent anger as Tanshall school is axed

There was widespread anger and dismay from Tanshall parents as Fife Council confirmed they were to close the primary school.

The decision was made by members of the Executive Committee to endorse the proposals to axe five Fife schools as part of a school estates review.

Protesters outside Fife House

Protesters outside Fife House

The committee voted 14 votes to six in favour of closing the Glenrothes school.

It’s expected that Tanshall will now close in August 2014 with pupils dispersed to Southwood and Caskieberran primary schools, while those with assisted learning needs are expected to be accommodated across other schools in the Glenrothes area.

Ewan Howells, whose two children attend Tanshall has led the campaign to keep the school from closure and was one of several parents in the public area to witness the decision.

He told the Gazette: “This decision marks a black day for Tanshall and for Glenrothes as whole.

“From the moment these proposals first appeared we have consistently proved them to be ill-founded and not in the best interests of the community, the families and most of all, the children.

“The overwhelming view is that the school should remain.

“The consultation process was always designed to bring the outcome that we have witnessed here today and that has been very difficult for the many parents, who have very genuine concerns if the school is now to close, to stomach.”

Fellow parent Jenny Ross said: “I’d like to think we could trust our councillors to put the concerns of the community first. Clearly regarding Tanshall they haven’t bothered to listen to a word any of us have said.”

Councillor Peter Grant said; “The decision is hardly surprising, there has been a great distrust of the consultation process, the response from the Tanshall community was big and passionate yet has been completely and utterly ignored.”

The executive committee’s decision is now expected to be the subject to a “call-in” which would see it go back to the scrutiny committee for further debate.

Only if they call into question the executive’s decision will it go to full council for a final vote.

Our concerns have been ignored - say parents

565 written representations were received in response to the consultation to close Tanshall Primary School.

Overwhelmingly they are opposed to the closure of the school, with the impact of the closure on the community and the future quality of the children’s education the main concerns.

Many residents also voiced concern over the future of the Community Help at Tanshall (CH@T) organisation that is currently based at the school.

Fife Council have pledged to re-locate the community group but those involved say there are no suitable alternative venues within Tanshall.

Apprehension over threat to the future quality of assisted learning and specialist educational needs have also been at the forefront of many parents concerns.