Published: 29/03/2014 08:00 - Updated: 28/03/2014 11:18

Rallying calls for Moray schools

Written bySarah Rollo

A RALLYING cry has been sounded by parents fighting for the future of schools across Moray.

Crossroads Primary is one of the schools under threat.
Crossroads Primary is one of the schools under threat.

An online survey on ideas for a sustainable school estate has now closed and responses are due to be published in the coming days.

Ahead of a second round of community meetings, school council member at Crossroads Primary, Grange, near Keith, Fiona Wallace, urged worried parents to keep up the pressure.

"We’ve been told that nothing would physically change until 2016, but this is actually happening now. The decisions, the planning, that’s underway and we have to make sure we’re heard," she said.

Crossroads Primary is one of more than 20 in the area listed for possible closure under the early ideas pencilled by consultants Caledonian Economics.

A budget of £60,000 was set aside by the authority for the Sustainable Education Review after it emerged the area’s schools needed upgraded to the tune of £70 million.

Published last month, their list included the creation of three to 18 campus schools as well as closures, mergers and new builds. Communities have since been preparing for action, with a number of campaign groups formed.

Added Mrs Wallace: "A monkey could have come up with that list on the back of a fag packet, as most people have said. It seems to have been a pen and map thing."

A spokesman for the local authority defended the process, stating: "Every option had to be considered at this stage. It has to be demonstrated that it was considered as having some educational benefit."

Briefings for community and parent council representatives will get underway in April, followed by pupil and teacher focus groups and head teacher workshops.

They will consider some of the issues raised as part of the survey, such as transport, educational benefits and the operation of 3-18 campuses.

Preferred options are likely to go before councillors after the summer holidays, with any decisions taken subject to further consultation.

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