Council set for first steps in rezoning Elgin primary schools

New Elgin – exceed capacity by 2017

The first steps towards consultation over the rezoning of primary schools in Elgin are set to take place at a Council meeting on Wednesday.

Members of the Children and Young People’s Services Committee will be told of the current occupancy pressures existing in Elgin’s primary schools.

In a report prepared by continuous improvement team manager Paul Watson, councillors will be told that various factors including demographics, new housing developments and transport issues mean that some primary schools are nearing and will soon exceed their capacities.

The report will show Bishopmill, East End and New Elgin primary schools will all exceed their functional capacity by 2017, with Seafield primary following a year later.

Councillors are being asked to back a recommendation that ‘roll capping’ be introduced at some schools to ensure that sufficient space remains available for pupils living in the individual school zones.

The report says: “The decision to roll cap a primary school is based on the number of primary¬†classes the school can accommodate, rather than the number of pupils.

“Due to increasing demand for in-zone places in certain primary schools, it is proposed¬†to cap the rolls of all of the Elgin primary schools to ensure that sufficient classroom space remains available.

“This will be achieved by limiting the intake to these schools to ensure that the optimum number of classes, within the schools, is not exceeded.”

By setting a maximum number of classes in each of Elgin’s primary schools the authority hopes to ensure as far as possible that places are available for pupils in their zoned school.

Councillors will also be asked to agree to delegate authority to the Corporate Director for Education and Social Care, allowing for decisions to be made on future roll capping and reservation of school places in consultation with local councillors.

If accepted, the proposals will also task the Corporate Director to present a paper at the next meeting of the committee that seeks approval to consult on the rezoning of Elgin’s primary schools.

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