SNP politicians in West Fife have insisted that a replacement Inverkeithing High is still at the "forefront" of their minds.

They have taken steps to reassure parents that Scottish Government funding news for the joint campus incorporating St Columba's and Woodmill high schools as well as Fife College "in no way diminishes" the priority being given to a new school for Inverkeithing.

A paper for selecting the preferred site is due to go in front of Fife Council's education committee next month.

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman said: “We are very clear; the plans to replace Woodmill and St Columba's is fantastic news for education in West Fife, but we are not taking our eye off the ball with Inverkeithing.

“Pupils there have been long overdue a replacement facility and they too deserve to be taught in the best facilities available and that will be delivered.

“We are united in finding a solution for this. It’s disappointing that the Labour party are wasting their time fighting with each other and making up their mind whether they support new facilities or not.”

Cowdenbeath MSP Annabelle Ewing added: “I am totally committed to seeing Inverkeithing High School replaced with a new state-of-the-art facility.

“I will continue to work in collaboration with Fife Council and the Scottish Government to make sure these plans are realised."

SNP councillor Fay Sinclair, Fife's Education and Children's Services convener said they remained committed to delivering a replacement for Inverkeithing.

"We put a significant amount of funding for this into our capital investment plan at the start of this year and have already carried out a first round of public and community engagement around the requirements for a new, state-of-the-art facility," she added.

Fife Council co-leader David Ross defended the criticism on Labour.

“I’m bemused to hear these comments as the Scottish Government has turned down the request for funding towards the replacement of Inverkeithing High School, so the commitments from these MSPs are just empty words," he said.

“Fortunately, the council did earmark the full cost of the replacement of Inverkeithing in its own capital programme because we had a fear that the Scottish Government wouldn’t come up with any cash to support it. But we hoped for match-funding of between £35-50 million towards the project from the Scottish Government.

“There is talk about future phases of this funding but, if we were to wait, not only would there be an unacceptable delay in replacing Inverkeithing, under the Scottish Government criteria I have seen, it wouldn’t be eligible anyway.

“As regards their criticism of Labour’s position on the proposed joint campus including Woodmill and St Columba’s high schools and Fife College, I am disappointed that they seem happy to disregard legitimate concerns that have been expressed by parents and communities.

“All we are saying is that there needs to be proper consultation on these concerns about the significant size of the joint campus with over 5,000 students and pupils, the issue of the younger senior school pupils potentially mixing with much older and adult students and the relocation of the schools outwith the Abbeyview area.

"These are legitimate concerns that have to be addressed properly before a final decision is taken on the joint campus. I am pleased that this has now been recognised by officers from Education so that additional consultation meetings are being arranged prior to the required statutory consultation process and that we have been given assurances that these concerns will be specifically addressed through these consultations."