Proposed changes to school zoning throughout Moray considered

Lossiemouth High School - one of several that would be affected by re-zoning proposals
Lossiemouth High School – one of several that would be affected by re-zoning proposals

COUNCILLORS WILL THIS week take a first look at rezoning proposals for several Secondary and Primary schools including joint agreements with neighbouring Aberdeenshire.

The initial moves at a meeting of the children and young people’s services committee on Wednesday are in addition to rezoning proposals for Elgin primary schools already being considered.

Members will be asked to agree that draft proposals are brought forward on secondary schools and some primary schools. These include school zones that cross over into Aberdeenshire, with officials from the two councils already having met to discuss cross-boundary issues.

In a report to the committee Paul Watson, the senior education advisor (schools consultations), says: “It was agreed in principle that, subject to agreement of Service Committees in Moray and Aberdeenshire, both authorities would work towards having, and consult upon, the Moray/Aberdeenshire border as the boundary for all school catchment areas for schools in each authority.

“Legally, each authority will have to consult with their prescribed consultees on their own proposals, regarding their own school zones, as well as each other as affected parties.

“It will be necessary to agree a future strategy with Aberdeenshire for co-ordination and co-operation, with assistance given to each other for the respective consultations, according to the different priorities and timetables.”

Cross-border consultations will relate to Buckie High School and Cullen Primary School, specifically the zone between Buckie High and Keith Grammar School and a small part of the Cullen and Buckie High catchment area in Aberdeenshire. Council officers are recommending that informal consultations take place with affected parent councils.

Talks will also centre on several other schools with cross-border catchments.

Schools with catchments entirely in Moray where rezoning may be considered include Forres Academy, where the entire Alves Primary catchment area would be zoned, so taking in areas currently zoned for Elgin Academy and Elgin High School.

Elgin High School would include the proposed new catchment areas of Mosstowie, Greenwards, New Elgin and any new zone for south-east Elgin, while Lossiemouth High School would include St Gerardine, Hythehill, Hopeman and Burghead – ending the dual-zoning arrangement of Burghead to both Lossiemouth High and Elgin Academy.

Milne’s High School would see the removal of its split-zoning of Lhanbryde Primary with Elgin Academy, while the Elgin Academy zoning would be amended to include only the new catchment areas for West End, East End, Bishopmill and Seafield primary schools.

The details of the proposals can be found on the Moray Council Website.