New School at Hillside to be considered

PARENTS are concerned that Portlethen Primary School could be in danger of closing.
PARENTS are concerned that Portlethen Primary School could be in danger of closing.

Members of Kincardine and Mearns area committee will are to consider recommendations to build a new £12.9 million primary school at Portlethen.

A report will be put before councillors at next Tuesday’s meeting which looks at the results of a public consultation into primary education provision in the town.

Officers have proposed that a new school be built at Hillside which will take 355 children.

However, the core facilities would be able to accommodate 540 pupils.

The report comes after revised capacity figures for the two existing primary schools were released in April revealing that they would not be able to cope with the increasing rolls.

The revised figures were brought about by changing cirriculum and higher standards.

The outcome of the committee’s discussion on Tuesday will be relayed to Thursday’s key policy and resources committee, where a final decision will be reached.

Councillor Alison Evison said: “It is fantastic to see this recommendation now being put to committee after months of working with the community to come up with the best options.

‘‘During that time investment has been made in to the two existing primaries in the town, showing full commitment to them all along, as those parents and community representatives involved in the process have always recognised.”

Councillor Ian Mollison said: “I am looking forward to Tuesday’s meeting. It is clear from the report that Portlethen Primary School would be grossly over capacity unless something is done. Meanwhile, Fishermoss Primary School has a falling roll, but it cannot fully relieve the pressure on Portlethen Primary.”

Members of the community in Portlethen have been campaigning for a third school in the town for several years, with many Hillside residents admitting that they bought their homes with the expectation that a school would be built. However the school at Hillside was removed from the Capital Plan in 2010.

There were fears that an option to close the existing Portlethen Primary would be put forward, however the preferred option makes no metion of this.