No change at Harris until 2022
Decision expected in January
Any potential changes to Invergowrie Primary’s status as a feeder school to Harris Academy will now not be enforced until 2022.
The change of date from 2021 follows feedback from public consultations on the Dundee school’s catchment realignment plan.
Dundee City Council is currently reviewing the realignment of the catchment areas of Harris Academy’s feeder schools and has published an updated report following its latest findings.
Its headline recommendation is the removal of the Invergowrie Primary School as an associate.
If the proposal goes ahead, pupils from the Perthshire village would no longer attend the Perth Road secondary school - located only 2.2 miles away.
Invergowrie pupils would instead need to endure a 40-mile round bus journey to a Perth secondary school as a result.
The final review decision on the catchment proposal will take place in January 2021.
A statement on the updated Harris Academy Consultation Report reads: “In the consultation report, the following recommendations are made: the removal of Invergowrie Primary School’s status as an associated primary to Harris Academy for session 2022/23, from August 2022.
“Any final decision on approval of these recommendations will be considered by the council’s children and families services committee in March 2021.”
Carse of Gowrie councillor Alasdair Bailey called on Dundee councillors to scrap the proposal all together.
He said: “It’s great to see Dundee council doing the right thing by saying that this change will only happen now in August 2022 if approved.
“However, I was disappointed that the proposal is still to remove Invergowrie from the catchment of Harris Academy.
“The decision is now in the hands of Dundee councillors who will meet in January to decide the outcome.”
Cllr Bailey also responded to suggestions Perth and Kinross Council should provide secondary schooling for Invergowrie students.
He added: “Firstly, this was an unwritten two-way deal with Invergowrie Primary School taking roughly as many kids from Dundee as the Harris takes from Invergowrie.
“Secondly, I presented fully costed options for PKC to build a secondary school in or near the Carse in two previous budget meetings but they were voted down. My petition calling for a secondary closer to Invergowrie now has over 1200 signatures and was started well before this current change was proposed by Dundee.”
Last week, fellow Carse councillor Angus Forbes commended the support shown from the Harris Academy Parent Council for the campaign to allow Invergowrie Primary School pupils to attend Harris.
The parent group sent a letter to Dundee City Council in support of the current setup, claiming a number of issues in the council’s catchment proposal report.
Cllr Forbes said: “I was absolutely delighted to see the letter from Harris Parent Council, it’s incredibly supportive and points out some inaccuracies in the report.
“I also want to acknowledge the support of Western Gateway Community, I recently met with the chair of this association and they have responded to Dundee City Council supporting us too.
“Bearing in mind that John Swinney is also supportive, it now appears that everyone is in agreement that pupils from Invergowrie should continue to receive their secondary education at Harris.
“I am very hopeful that Dundee City Council will listen to these concerns and continue to allow Invergowrie children to have their secondary education at Harris.”