Parents may see kids frozen out of school
PARENTS hoping to send their child to Bellyeoman Primary may have to find an alternative school.
A capacity problem is looming in north-east Dunfermline and Fife Council is warning that not every child in the catchment area is guaranteed a place.
Area education officer Donna Manson confirmed, "Roll projections indicate that the worst-case scenario is that the school could be oversubscribed for a period of three years from 2015-2018 and by a maximum of 20 pupils in 2018.
"After this date, the total roll is expected to decline, with the result that all current catchment pupils could be accommodated in the school."
A consultation will take place between August and October and four possible solutions have been put forward by a council committee.
Bellyeoman opened in 1997 as a single stream school of seven classrooms and two nursery rooms but capacity projections identified in 2006 meant a reconfiguration to increase the roll from 217.
It will be able to accommodate 275 pupils from this summer but even this will not be enough over the next seven years.
Ms Manson said, "In the last five years the school roll at Bellyeoman has increased by 14.8 per cent.
"Birth rates in the school catchment have increased.
"In August 2012 all the strategies for increasing the internal capacity of the school will have been implemented.
"However, roll projections for the next seven years indicate that the current maximum school capacity of 275 pupils will not accommodate the maximum projected capacity of 299 pupils."
The four possible solutions to be discussed by the new executive committee at the council are:
Remove the nursery altogether to provide another class space.
Extend the school by providing a temporary or permanent extension.
Cut the catchment area of the school.
Operate a dual catchment strategy whereby children not obtaining a place at Bellyeoman would be entitled to one at Commercial, McLean, Townhill or Touch primary schools.
A decision will have to be made by January in time for the new Primary 1 enrolment for August 2013.
However, the council has hinted they are highly unlikely to provide a temporary or permanent extension due to the cost and the short-term nature of the capacity problem.
Arguing that it is not a "viable option", the report to the committee says an extension is not merited while there is capacity at "schools nearby" and they would also have to add extra toilet facilities, dining and playground provision if numbers went up to 300.
The council's education service has met the parent council twice in the last six months to discuss the issue and an open meeting was held last month.
A formal consultation will start in August, likely to be looking at options 1, 3 and 4, and details will be announced nearer the time.
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Jun 15, 23:38
Heard this evening that a school that has 250 pupils is losing it's depute head.
Looking at information online, schools have only have a head teacher when there is less than 220 pupils.
Why is Fife council implementing this change?
Recommend? Yes 5 No 0
Jun 16, 16:34
It's the same situation at Masterton, 50 places in P1 and 70+ pupils eligible to join each year. The difference being at Masterton the Council weren't clever enough to work out the figures required with all the housing due to be built. While at Bellyeoman the schools been there longer and the new houses have appeared over a longer period of time. Either way If you are unlucky enough not to get into the school nearest to you It has big implications with childcare, walking or driving to school and it also splits up kids that were at nursery together.
Recommend? Yes 1 No 0