SCOTTISH Government funding for new high schools in West Fife is expected to be announced after the summer.

While discussions between Fife Council and Holyrood regarding investment continue, proposals over the future of the school estate in the area are being shaped further through consultation with parents.

A joint learning campus for Fife College and two replacement high schools would be the “right way to go”, according to the council’s education spokesperson.

Councillor Fay Sinclair made the comments after explaining to the Press that feedback from parents and stakeholders had been “overwhelmingly positive”.

The authority is looking at building replacements for St Columba’s and Woodmill high schools next to the college at the old Hyundai site, expected to cost £180 million, although nothing has been agreed.

They would also be looking to replace Inverkeithing High separately and alternative sites are currently being investigated.

Cllr Sinclair said: “The joint learning campus is the way to go and Fife Council are now moving forward with getting an option agreement.

“There seems to be a lot of excitement for it.

“We need high school-only spaces so we’re not talking about a single building but some aspects of shared facilities.

“That has been very well received not just by parents but also the Scottish Government.

“It’s something that has ambition not just for Fife but for Scotland.

“We are doing all the groundwork now to demonstrate we are ready to go. And when the Scottish Government announces funding we’ll be ready to go.”

Fife College already own land at the Shepherd Offshore site but now Fife Council are moving forward plans to get option agreement – this means that they would get first refusal when it came to buying the land from the developer. No money has yet been exchanged though and it would be dependent on funding and planning.

Capacity challenges still loom over West Fife with four of our high schools expected to be full between 2020 and 2021.

Cllr Sinclair added: “It’s not just about replacing the three schools though, there are also extensions that can be done at Dunfermline High and Queen Anne – we have firm plans to how we can do that.

“I think it’s the first time in a while we have had this level of vision and people are impressed with that. They are seeing us come up with plans with how to accommodate this.

“In the past, the council didn’t get the numbers right and they ended up being more than expected.

“At the start of building, Woodmill was at 60 per cent capacity.

“But hopefully the education department has learned lessons now.

“After the summer, announcement on funding is expected and we believe what we are doing fits with the Scottish Government’s vision.

“All of the new capacity is being funded by developers.”