Parents form joint action group to protect under-threat primaries

Moray Council

Parents with pupils at several Moray primary schools that are under threat of closure have joined together to fight their case.

Portknockie, Portessie, Cullen and Findochty primaries are facing closure under Moray Council’s Sustainable Education Review.

Caledonian Economics, the consultancy firm that has undertaken the review on behalf of the local authority, has identified the primary schools as possibilities for closure alongside one secondary school, Milne’s High.

Their report is currently being studied by Councillors with its findings expected to be revealed next week.

Ahead of that the ‘Four School Action Group’ has been set up by parent Mike Coull, who has three children attending Portessie Primary.

Mr Coull said: “The action group want to hear the views of parents and use that to help build a case to defend the future of village schools.

“From what we have discovered so far the only people who seem to have raised questions over the education of our children receive are Caledonian Economics themselves.

“It was announced recently that the renewal cost for Millbank School in Buckie is now £3million and it will go to tender. They don’t care how much they are spending – it is crazy the cuts involving the schools.”

An early report from Caledonian Economics indicated a radical rethink of Moray’s school estate with a ‘campus’ style being recommended that would see several school closures.

However, last month Councillors agreed to spend £17million on improvement works to four schools, St Gerardines in Lossiemouth, Applegrove in Forres, Millbank in Buckie and Elgin’s Seafield Primary.

Shortly after that decision the Council announced a timetable for the consultancy report that would see it considered by committee on Friday, September 19 before a four-day period when head teachers would be informed of its findings.

The report findings will then be made public on September 25.

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