PROPOSED alterations to catchment areas could see a £1 million extension being built at Inverkeithing High School.

But Fife Council has insisted that doesn’t mean they’ve shelved plans for a replacement building.

There have been concerns that Inverkeithing has been left out of the debate on replacement schools, with the current focus on a shared campus in Dunfermline for St Columba’s and Woodmill.

Fears that it was being sidelined rose when a council report stated an extension could be built for £1m and added: “As there is appropriate external space on site to extend Inverkeithing HS with a permanent or temporary solution, the introduction of accommodation on site would not create disruption to the school nor reduce the social space available to pupils.”

Education committee convener, councillor Fay Sinclair, said more space would be required if catchment changes go ahead to address an “anticipated spike” in pupil numbers.

But she added: “This in no way impacts our plans for replacement school buildings. Head of Education Shelagh McLean was very clear in her response to the question in committee that this would not impact the delivery of a new school.”

Ms McLean confirmed: “Should the proposal progress, following the statutory consultation, it would increase the school roll at Inverkeithing, as well as others.

"Projections suggest it could exceed capacity in 2022 so any future planning for this school would take account of that need for additional classroom accommodation.”

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Alex Rowley said council chief Steve Grimmond had given him assurances that a replacement Inverkeithing High was being actively considered along with options for St Columba’s and Woodmill.

The council hope Scottish Government funding will soon be available so a programme of replacing high schools in Dunfermline and South West Fife can start.

Mr Rowley said: “To date, Fife Council has replaced schools based on the condition they are in and therefore the next school in line to be replaced based on the available information I have seen is Inverkeithing.

“Given that a new high school costs in the region of £40 million, it is clear that there will be a need for the Scottish Government to at least match the money being put up by the Fife Council if we are to see a replacement for all three schools.

“I am urging Fife Council to bring some transparency to this issue and make clear to the Scottish Government what is needed and based on the condition of the buildings which school they intend to begin with.”

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Lesley Laird, who is also councillor for Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, said: “The cash is already there to build a new Inverkeithing High but there’s little hope more will be forthcoming from the Scottish Government in the near future.

"If we don’t seize this opportunity now, we’ll be watching this building crumble away for yet another decade. Should another generation of children be schooled in those conditions? No.

“The longer a decision is postponed on a replacement for Inverkeithing, the more serious the situation will become and the more children in my constituency and the wider area will be adversely affected.”