INDEPENDENT advisers drafted in by the local authority to review its school estate insist they have a "blank piece of paper" on which to suggest ideas that could ultimately lead to some of Moray’s biggest educational changes for a generation.
An all-encompassing review of Moray schools began this week, on the back of council data which shows that many of its 45 primaries and eight secondaries are in need of significant repair and maintenance.
Costs are estimated at £70 million, according to the local authority, with a further £4 million required annually to maintain that standard once work is complete.
The review comes in the midst of a massive cost-cutting exercise by Moray Council, announced in March, in which the local authority said it wanted to make £30 million worth of recurring savings in the next four years.
Edinburgh-based Caledonian Economics will be carrying out the study, having completed similar exercises in Highland, Dumfries and Galloway, Aberdeen City and Orkney.
Martin Finnigan, the firm’s managing director, will be joined by education adviser Frank Newall in collating information from every school before final recommendations are released to the public by the end of the year.
The council has insisted that there is no hit-list of schools, and Mr Finnigan said last Thursday that all will be treated equally.
For more on this story, see this week's 'Northern Scot' print edition.