THE catchment areas for pupils going to Carnegie and Touch primary schools will be changed from June 30.

Fife Council agreed the move despite 88 per cent of consultation responses opposing the rezoning proposals, while they "can't guarantee" that children from the same family won't end up at different schools.

Head of education Shelagh McLean said changes had to be made as Carnegie PS doesn't have enough spaces for all the kids living in its catchment area.

At the cabinet committee Dunfermline Central councillor Derek Glen said those who responded were "overwhelmingly" against the proposal and added: "It kinda feels as though we're steamrollering through with the proposal without necessarily making provision to address the concerns raised by parents."

The scale of housebuilding and increase in population over the past 20 years, particularly in the Duloch area, has put pressure on local schools.

The capacity at Carnegie is 651 but, going by last year's census, there are 764 primary-aged pupils living in the current catchment area.

To balance it out, Touch is just over half full – 58 per cent, with 252 pupils – and can take a maximum of 434 children.

It will not affect those who already have an application, or a placing request, to start school in August.

However anyone moving into the area and applying for a school place for their child after June 30 would be impacted.

Ms McLean told councillors: "If this is approved we do anticipate that we will be able to accommodate those that would want to make a placing request to Carnegie.

"But the important point here is that if we don't make the catchment changes we will not be able to accept all of the children within the catchment area to Carnegie in future years.

"So we will be in a position where we are refusing catchment children entry to Carnegie. That's why we're consulting on this in the first place.

"We will not be able to accommodate all of those who currently live in the catchment.

"We would then have to go through a process, similar to what we had to do at Woodmill, and ballot for places within the school.

"It's important we address this and provide the right support to our families."

Both schools have already been extended, four classrooms were added to Carnegie in 2016 and four at Touch in 2020 at a cost of £2m each, due to the rate of residential development.

And more than 200 new homes in the area are still to be built.

One of the major concerns is the prospect of families in the affected areas having children at two different schools.

Dunfermline South councillor Lynn Ballantyne-Wardlaw asked: "For those with an older child at Carnegie, will younger siblings be offered a place at Carnegie rather than having to go to Touch?

"Also, if a child is already enrolled at Carnegie nursery and have got an established friends group, will they be offered a place?"

Ms McLean replied: "If there's a sibling at Carnegie and the younger sibling is not due to start this school year, they would be in the Touch catchment and would need to put in a placing request in to Carnegie.

"That's one of the things that's covered within our existing school admissions policy, it's a high end priority category within the admissions policy if you already have a sibling within the school for a placing request.

"But we wouldn't be able to guarantee that until such times as we received a placing request and considered it with all the other placing requests.

"We can confirm there would be appropriate places for all siblings in Touch if the family wanted to make an alternative decision. It really depends on individual circumstances."

One of the biggest changes will see an area from Dunlin Drive in the north to Trondheim Parkway in the south, bordered by Greenshank Drive and Linburn Road, move to become part of the Touch catchment.

This includes all the streets within that area: Swift Street, Serf Avenue, Blane Crescent, Ninian Road, Regulus Street, Fillan Street, Magnus Drive, Duthac Court, Redwing Wynd, Aidan Gardens, Fulmar Drive, Shearwater Crescent, Harrier Court, Kestrel Way, Osprey Crescent and Wheatear Court.

The council said most houses in the area to be rezoned would be within one mile and a 20 minute walk from Touch PS.

Dunfermline South councillor James Calder said parents were concerned about children having to cross the "extremely busy" Linburn Road.

He added: "I hope they make this a priority and that issues such as recruitment of school crossing patrol officers are taken into account. The safety of pupils is paramount."

New homes being built on the Shepherd Offshore site at Halbeath are in the zone for Carnegie PS and homes in South Larch Road, South Larch Way and The Heathers Wynd that were in the Touch catchment will switch to Carnegie.

Conversely, homes in South Larch Road that were in the Carnegie catchment will switch to Touch.

Both primary schools will remain part of the Woodmill High catchment.

Last September, the council agreed to start a consultation with parents about changing the catchment areas, with public meetings in October and November.

There were 56 written representations and the majority, 88 per cent, were not in favour of rezoning the catchment areas.

Commenting on the figures, Ms McLean said: "Those who responded were those who would be impacted in that way.

"Others tend not to respond to a consultation if they are content with what's being proposed."