A PETITION demanding the new Inverkeithing High is built in Inverkeithing was signed by more than 600 people in a day.

With a decision on the preferred location of the school set to be made later this month, Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council launched the document in the hope of ensuring a new facility remains close to the current site.

A joint letter from community councils in Dalgety Bay and Hillend, Inverkeithing and Aberdour has also been sent to members of Fife Council's education and children's services committee highlighting their reasons.

The letter said removing the high school would leave a "gaping hole" in the community's infrastructure.

"When funding has recently been secured for upgrading and preserving Inverkeithing’s heritage, removing a vital part of the community would seem to be a backward step," it said.

"There is a synergy in having the nursery, primary school, secondary school and community wing on one site, which underpins a mutually sustainable focus for the community. Removing the high school would leave a gaping hole in the community’s infrastructure.

"Moving the school from its present central position in the catchment area would have a marked impact on the viability of small businesses in Inverkeithing High Street, which benefit from lunchtime custom and increased footfall before and after school.

"Doubts would also be cast on the viability of the community wing. Generations of residents and their children have enjoyed the swimming pool, which would not feature in any replacement elsewhere."

Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community council vice-chairperson, Jean Hutchison, said there were many reasons why the schools should stay in Inverkeithing.

"There are educational reasons but other reasons as well. For example, if they decide Rosyth, they are going to have to bus all the children from Aberdour and Dalgety Bay so if we are talking about climate change, we are adding to that with all the pollution. They would be on the same road going towards the bridge first thing in the morning so that is another reason.

"It is quite an important community wing as well."

Local MP Lesley Laird has lent her support to the cause and met representatives from the community councils last week.

“I have been campaigning for a replacement for Inverkeithing High School since I was first elected as a councillor in 2012," she said. "I have continued my support since being elected as MP in 2017. I see no reason to change my mind now.

“It is very powerful and persuasive when three communities come together to speak out in support of maintaining the location of Inverkeithing High School, in Inverkeithing. It is especially telling that all of them specifically mentioned, and recognised the importance of, the much loved 'Wing' and the contribution that it has made to community life.

“The school is adjacent to Treetops Nursery and also the primary school. Taken together, these three education facilities afford local people a fantastic learning experience from early years through to the senior phase. It’s been proven to work exceptionally well, and from an education perspective, it a very compelling partnership, why on earth would you want to break that up?”

“It makes absolutely no sense to locate the school anywhere else but in Inverkeithing. In these times of climate change, and active travel, why on earth would you even contemplate introducing significant busing of pupils when very good efforts have been made in recent years to encourage walking routes to the current school, and significant investment made in making those routes safer?

“I am 100 per cent with the community councils and their communities. Inverkeithing High School must stay in Inverkeithing.”