New primary school plans for Elgin to be considered next week

Former Heritage Centre will house pupils until new school is completed
Former Heritage Centre will house pupils until new school is completed

PLANS FOR A new primary school in Elgin are to be put before councillors next week.

Following consultation on the rezoning of catchment areas in the town a need for a new school was recognised to serve the south-east of Elgin.

Overwhelming backing from consultees have led to a report being placed before members of the Children and Young People’s Committee on Wednesday.  The proposal comes after a consultation on re-zoning the catchment areas in Elgin and the subsequent need for a new school serving south-east Elgin.

Responses to the consultation overwhelmingly backed the plans for a new school, and in the report officers have recommended that a temporary school for Primary 1, 2 and 3 be established at the former Heritage Centre in Elgin.

To begin with the school will serve just P1 pupils, but then expand as pupils progress – an arrangement that will continue as the school is designed and built on a site off Linkwood Road that would be completed by 2018.

Author of the report, Moray Council’s senior education adviser Paul Watson, said there are significant educational benefits to establishing a new school in advance of a new build.

He added: “Establishing the new school in temporary accommodation from August 2016 will enable the children from the new catchment area for south-east Elgin to enrol in Primary 1 at the new school.

“They would therefore be part of the school from day one and should enjoy continuity in their learning through primary school, alongside their peer group.

“The following year a new P1 would enrol and children will begin to move up the school.”

If the new school for P1 did not open in August 2016 then the roll forecast at that point for New Elgin Primary would take it almost 10% above its physical capacity.