DETAILED plans on a replacement Inverkeithing High are to be brought to councillors later this year.

The decision could see the school jumping ahead of Woodmill High and St Columba’s in the queue for a new building – but education bosses have also been asked to look at their future too.

Back in 2016, Fife Council set aside £50 million towards the estimated £150m cost of replacing five high schools – Inverkeithing, Woodmill, St Columba’s as well as two in Glenrothes – but it needs the Scottish Government to provide the remaining funding and set out the criteria on which money will be allocated.

They’re still waiting and now the council say they are continuing work to develop proposals for the longer-term vision for secondary schooling across the Dunfermline and South West Fife area.

At a meeting of the council’s education and children’s services committee on Tuesday, members approved a motion which stated: “The council should now commit to the replacement of Inverkeithing High School and that officers should prepare detailed plans which can include working within capital resources. 

“Also, in reviewing the council’s capital programme, additional provision should be made to address the need for the future replacement/renewal of Woodmill, St Columba’s, Glenrothes and Glenwood high schools. Officers are to bring a report back to the meeting of the committee in November setting out the process and timetable for implementation.”

Councillor Helen Law said: “I think with £50m sitting on the side, it is important to start doing something. We have got to get started. It is really disappointing that Scottish Government money has not yet materialised.”

Cllr James Calder added: “It is important that we get a new Inverkeithing High School and it is also important that we commit to working to replace the four other schools in Fife including Woodmill and St Columba’s in my ward.

“As such, I am glad the committee agreed to my suggestion to change the final recommendation to ensure we would be bringing plans forward for the replacement of all of these schools.”

Conservative Councillor Kathleen Leslie had reservations about the decision.

“We didn’t really want it just to be Inverkeithing High School and this is at a time which is nine days before a by-election. We would like all five schools to be replaced and we shouldn’t be prioritising one of them.”

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman has welcomed the development after what he described as “five years of no action”.

“We must now work together to build a new school which meets the needs of students, teachers and the community as a whole,” he added.

“In recent years, we’ve seen Fife Council use Scottish Government funding to build new schools in Levenmouth, Kirkcaldy and Anstruther. It’s now time for West Fife to get a piece of the action and the council already has the money to complete the job. Let’s get on with it.”