EAST END PRIMARY school parents were once again facing severe criticism from a local councillor as they are being blamed for a shockingly low enrolment to Elgin’s newest school.
Parents at East End Primary have been expressing their opposition to the decision ratified at Moray Council last week, in which their school is being split into two, with a temporary ‘new school’ established until it has its own building created.
The new school will be built at Linkwood Road by 2018 – but parents have expressed serious concerns over the need to establish a temporary school at East End rather than just integrating pupils into a single, enlarged school.
There have also been serious concerns over the building work at East End and the disruption it is causing pupils, with additional concerns over the safety of staff and children also being raised and highlighted by what parents insist was a ‘highly dangerous’ situation as heavy plant was moved into the school property last week.
As it emerged this week that only 12 children have been enrolled at the new school from the 52 who are eligible to do so, the deputy chairman of the children and young people’s services committee has again hit out at parents, saying they had created an unwelcome atmosphere at East End Primary.
Councillor George Alexander told a local newspaper: “It could be that snobbery is alive and well in Elgin, and maybe that has dissuaded parents from sending their children to the new school at East End.
“We did expect a larger number than 12 to be going there – parents have obviously made a choice to put their children to an out-of-zone school instead of East End.”
Councillor Alexander insisted that as a result 40 children zoned for the new school would now be spread over other schools in Elgin – and that would cause a problem in future years.
East End parents hit back at the charges last night, saying that once again Councillor Alexander was demonstrating the ‘sham’ of a consultation that saw the Council attempting to bully them into submission.
One told insideMoray: “Throughout this process we have highlighted the real problems that existed in the plan to split East End into two – and throughout the process Councillor Alexander has attempted to lay the blame for the unwillingness of parents to send their children to the new school at our door.
“Perhaps he should look a bit closer to home for reasons why so few have chosen to register their children at the new school – despite pressure being applied to them by council officials to change their minds.
“It is the fact that they do not wish to send their children to a ‘shared’ school for at least two years – it is that part of the entire plan that is just wrong but neither Councillor Alexander nor those officials who came up with this plan can accept this simple truth.”