Waid a minute, what about our school?

Waid Academy
Waid Academy

DESPITE two HMI reports criticising the condition of Waid Academy, area councillors claim the school is being over-looked for refurbishment.

East Neuk councillors Elizabeth Riches and Donald Macgregor believe the new executive committee of Fife Council has “missed an opportunity” to include Waid in the funding bid to the Scottish Government for a much needed replacement school building.

A joint statement released by the two councillors comes hot-on-the-heels of a council proposal to merge the existing Kirkland and Buckhaven high school rolls together at a state-of-the-art new build.

Over the last 10 years there have been two HMI reports criticising the state of the Anstruther school.

Nearly 40 per cent of classrooms are provided in temporary hutted accommodation and six classrooms are across a road.

Of the permanent buildings, HMI inspectors commented that the walls of the classroom are ‘too close together’.

Cllr Riches and Macgregor, claim that, in other words, it is “impossible to arrange the classroom for adequate teaching.”

However, the two councillors acknowledged that staff continued to deliver a first class education to all abilities and interests.

Cllr Macgregor said: “Ironically the hutted accommodation provides large classrooms but, with so many, there are obvious security difficulties and the lack of social space or space for drama makes it difficult to deliver the Curriculum for Excellence.

“The staff have always to try to think of some innovative way to offer the best to their students.”

Former deputy leader of the council, Cllr Riches, added that the authority’s education service has graded Waid Academy’s buildings ‘C’ for condition and ‘C’ for suitability.

“It is the only secondary school rated ‘C’ for which there are no plans for its replacement,” added the councillor.

“We both support the idea of combining Buckhaven and Kirkland schools, but feel that priority should also be given to bringing Waid Academy up to a suitable standard.

“The Scottish Government will examine bids with proposals that make significant operational savings.

“Surely the savings made at Waid from no further need to hire temporary hutted classrooms, from fewer buildings to carry out repairs on and the sale of south Waid would produce significant savings?

Fife Council was unable to comment at the time of going to press.