Furious parents only found out about school closure in Press

Published: 19 Apr 2013 09:009 comments

FURIOUS parents at Pitcorthie Primary claim they only found out last week that the school faced closure - thanks to the Press.

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They claim they've had no information from Fife Council on the decision to shut the school, and only made the discovery when they bought the Press.

Pitcorthie, Wellwood and Crombie primaries face the axe, following a five-month review of Fife Council's schools estate.

While Crombie and Wellwood have small rolls - 18 and 31 respectively - Pitcorthie has 309 pupils and a 93 per cent occupancy rate

Crombie kids will now be moved to Cairneyhill, Wellwood to McLean, and Pitcorthie to Lynburn and Commercial primaries.

Doreen Totten (52), whose seven-year-old granddaughter, Kayla McCall, attends Pitcorthie, called the decision "absolutely ridiculous".

She said, "I only found out about the closure in the Press on Saturday.

"We thought we would get letters to go to meetings and find out what was going on but we've not heard anything.

"I don't know where they think they're going to find space for 300 kids in two schools that are nearly at full capacity.

"And whose decision is it where the kids will go? Is it the parents', the school's, or are they just going to decide 150 will go to each school?

"It's going to be a big, big upheaval for a lot of kids and where are the teachers going to go?

"Are they going to lose their jobs? It's probably as big a shock to them as it is to us."

The Press reported last week that a final closure decision is not expected to take effect until August 2014 but Doreen said, "I've already spoken to half a dozen parents who've made appointments to see if they can get their kids into other schools, like Canmore or St Leonards.

"For us it's six and two threes in terms of distance but we chose Pitcorthie because of all the good reports."

Other parents, especially those with special needs children, agreed that Pitcorthie's reputation was the reason they had picked the school.

Linda Whitelaw (58), whose grandson was recently diagnosed with ADHD, said, "I did a lot of research into schools in the area and Pitcorthie came up as meeting my needs and his needs.

"I don't know where he might be going but he doesn't adapt to change too well and I'm steeling myself for a few months of stress."

For Danielle Fulton (29), it'll be the fourth time her son will be changing school in as many years.

She said, "He used to be in Pitcorthie but we moved to Cowdenbeath, then moved back here.

"He has selective mutism and I thought it'd help him get settled but now he'll have to move again when the school closes. I'm gutted. It's just terrible."

Parents are also concerned how the closure will affect the kids and the friends they've made at school.

Angela Simpson (45), whose son and grandson attend Pitcorthie, was worried the boys would be split up.

She said, "They went to playgroup and nursery together and have been coming here together for three years.

"We've got a car so I'm not so worried about the transport but the important thing is the bonds they've made.

"It will be like a first day at a new school and half their pals are not going to be there."

A few parents have still not yet broken the news of the closure to their kids.

William Stevenson (29) said, "I didn't tell my wee boy because I didn't want to upset him before the holidays - he's got his moments if he's scared and we don't want that.

"It's a good school with teachers who put in a great effort and they've always got good reports about him as well.

"We would have further to go if he's put in Commercial, but closer if it's Lynburn, but if he had a choice he would stay here because of all his friends."

Tracey Gallagher (44), said, "My daughter's six and I think she'll be pretty upset.

"I heard about the closure from someone at work and I thought it was just talk. I think they need more schools rather than less."

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