Com­mu­nity cam­pus could re­place school

Moni­fi­eth: Coun­cil­lors out­line op­tions for fu­ture of ed­u­ca­tion in town and district

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - Gra­ham brown gbrown@the­courier.co.uk

A multi-mil­lion-pound com­mu­nity cam­pus has emerged as one of the op­tions under pro­pos­als for ed­u­ca­tion in the Moni­fi­eth area.

In the lat­est stage of a district-wide Schools for the Fu­ture plan an­nounced ear­lier this year, Moni­fi­eth High and its clus­ter pri­maries will be­come the sub­ject of com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion af­ter of­fi­cials re­vealed the sta­tus quo is not an op­tion.

On Thurs­day, a chil­dren and learn­ing com­mit­tee will con­sider a re­port high­light­ing rolls at Moni­fi­eth High and Mat­tocks Pri­mary are set to go be­yond ca­pac­ity within the next five years and a low C-cat­e­gory suit­abil­ity rat­ing for the sec­ondary.

Strate­gic di­rec­tor, Mark Arm­strong, said the com­bi­na­tion of ca­pac­ity, main­te­nance and catch­ment fac­tors mean do­ing noth­ing is not vi­able, but the coun­cil has ad­mit­ted Holy­rood help will be needed to fund any new schools and so far no cash prom­ises have been made.

The op­tions the au­thor­ity in­tends to con­sult on in­clude re­view­ing the Moni­fi­eth High catch­ment area, which might re­sult in a more even dis­tri­bu­tion of pupils; ex­tend Moni­fi­eth High and Mat­tocks Pri­mary and re­fur­bish Grange and Liff pri­maries; re­place Moni­fi­eth High and Grange Pri­mary with an “allthrough” school; cre­ate an all-through com­mu­nity cam­pus with ad­di­tional fa­cil­i­ties be­yond the re­place­ment of Moni­fi­eth High and Grange Pri­mary; re­fur­bish and in­crease ca­pac­ity at Mat­tocks and Liff pri­maries and de­velop an all-through school to ac­com­mo­date Moni­fi­eth High and Grange Pri­mary; and de­velop Moni­fi­eth High to in­clude com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties, but with no pri­mary el­e­ment.

Of­fi­cials have also said cre­at­ing a new school in Birkhill to in­cor­po­rate Auchter­house, Liff, Strath­mar­tine and Birkhill pri­maries is not worth con­sid­er­ing

The di­rec­tor’s re­port con­tin­ues: “A sec­ondary school of 300 pupils would not be large enough to de­liver a full cur­ricu­lum through broad gen­eral ed­u­ca­tion to the se­nior phase.

“In or­der to have a sec­ondary school that could de­liver a full cur­ricu­lum it would need to be shared with both Dundee City Coun­cil and Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil.

“We have been in con­tact with neigh­bour­ing au­thor­i­ties, and this op­tion is not con­sid­ered vi­able at this point as this is not a shared pri­or­ity for all three coun­cils.”

Mr Arm­strong added: “A project of the scale of re­plac­ing Moni­fi­eth High or an all-through cam­pus will re­quire fund­ing sup­port from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s Schools for the Fu­ture pro­gramme.”

Since 2016 An­gus Coun­cil has cre­ated new com­mu­nity cam­puses in Brechin and For­far at a com­bined cost of more than £60 mil­lion.

A project of the scale of re­plac­ing Moni­fi­eth High or an all-through cam­pus will re­quire fund­ing sup­port from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s Schools for the Fu­ture pro­gramme. MARK ARM­STRONG

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