Secondary school re-zoning plans set for final approval

Burghead Primary - pupils will all go to Lossiemouth High
Burghead Primary – pupils will all go to Lossiemouth High

NEW ZONING PROPOSALS resulting from public consultations for five secondary schools in Moray have been released by Moray Council.

Education officers have recommended that the new zones come into effect from October in what would be the first major changes to zoning areas for the schools in around 40 years.

The next stage for the proposals will be consideration by the children and young people’s services committee in June.

Zones for Elgin Academy and Elgin High School, along with those for Forres Academy, Milne’s High School and Lossiemouth High School, will almost exactly coincide with those already in place for their ‘feeder’ primary schools.

A major change, however, will be that Burghead Primary, which has been split between Elgin Academy and Lossiemouth High since 1981, will in future be zoned only to Lossiemouth.

The plans were scrutinised by Education Scotland who said that they represented “clear educational benefits” with the removal of dual-zoning enhancing continuity of learning. The consultation revealed issues highlighted in the Troves area to the south-east of Elgin – that resulted in a recommendation that the area remained under Elgin Academy.

Moray Council say that they will, however, consult again on the rezoning of the Troves area with Lhanbryde Primary to the new primary school that is being planned for south-east Elgin when it is in place at Linkwood Road.

Another change resulting from consultation is a recommendation that the area north of the A96 and west of the River Lossie should continue to be zoned to Elgin Academy rather than the proposed shift to Milne’s High.

Moray Council has also published a report following public consultation on a revised policy on admissions to schools which has been reviewed and updated to ensure it remains compliant with legislation.

Officers believe that the new policy offers clear educational benefits and will enable children across Moray to have fair and equitable access to education in line with the council’s statutory responsibilities, as well as enabling the council to ensure best value in managing its school estate.

It is proposed that the updated policy, which will also go before elected members next month, will take effect from the start of next session.