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Review of Schools in the West and South West of Edinburgh

Posted: 28th November 2017

Plans to tackle the expected increase in pupil numbers in the west and south west of Edinburgh have been drawn up by the City of Edinburgh Council.

A review of all schools across the city is taking place with the first phase focusing on the west and south west where the Council expects the largest increase in school pupils. In addition, several of the schools need major improvement works.

Projections show that by 2026 there could be an extra 1,300 primary and secondary pupils in west Edinburgh, where 4,000 new homes are proposed. The south west of the city could see over 200 new pupils with 700 homes set to be delivered.

A survey of Currie High School has shown that the building will need replaced in the coming years and both Balerno High School and Wester Hailes Education Centre need major improvement works.

The key proposals are:
• to build two new high schools – a South West Edinburgh High School on a new site which will replace Currie High School and Wester Hailes Education Centre and a new West Edinburgh High School
• to refurbish and expand Balerno High School
• to build a new primary school – Maybury Primary School

The proposals, and associated catchment changes, would affect 13 primary schools and seven high schools.

Cllr Ian Perry, Convener of Education, Children and Families at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “With Edinburgh being such a thriving and successful city, more and more people are coming to live here so we need to build the extra homes. This will obviously have a big impact on our schools with extra pupils which they will struggle to cope with.

“We need to ensure we can provide places for these additional children and that is why we are reviewing school provision across the whole city. This strategic approach means Edinburgh will be well-placed to meet the future challenges our schools face.

“So, we have to get this right to ensure what we do now will serve our school communities for the next 30 to 40 years as these additional children come through our education system. It’s not about looking at just the next few years but planning ahead for future generations.”

Cllr Alison Dickie, Vice Convener, of Education, Children and Families, at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The aim of publishing these proposals is to gauge the views of parents and their school communities. It’s so important we hear their voices – especially if they have any alternative proposals we could consider.

“The consultation over the coming months is an integral part of the review process however I must stress these proposals cannot be implemented without a statutory consultation process which would be the next step.

“It’s important to remember that no decisions have been made so I would urge anyone who has views on the plans to feed back their comments so it can help shape any future statutory consultation.”

The Council will be holding events between 9 January 2018 and 9 February 2018 at all the affected schools. These events will be organised through the Parent Councils and will allow invited focus groups to discuss the proposals with Council officers.

In March 2018, the Education, Children and Families Committee will be provided with an update on the discussions that have taken place and recommendations about what should happen next.

Full details of the proposals can be found on the Council website.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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