Plans laid to avoid overcrowding and closure of schools

Plans are being proposed to avoid overcrowding in Forres Primary Schools.

COUNCILLORS WILL CONSIDER plans for rezoning schools that it is being claimed will alleviate pressures on overcrowded classrooms.

The measures will be considered by the children and young people’s services committee on Wednesday and, if adopted, will see changes to Alves, Anderson’s, Applegrove, Kinloss and Pilmuir primary schools – all part of the Forres Associated Schools Group.

If accepted the changes would come into effect in August – with a suggestion that the adoption of the proposals will go some way towards protected some of Moray’s smaller schools that may come under closure pressures.

The proposals have been formed on the back of a long-running consultation with several events having taken place to find the views of parents. “There were a number of positive comments in favour of the proposals, including the idea that an increased school roll will create a more sustainable school roll within the smaller school communities,” senior education advisor Paul Watson said of the proposals.

He added: “Rezoning could also help staffing levels and management structures, and ensure a sufficiency of school places across the five communities.”

The report contains a warning to councillors that if they do not address the situation there will be an increased risk of children within current zoned areas not being able to attend their nearest school.

Consultation appears to have led to some changes in the proposals, parents with children to the north of Anderson’s Primary catchment area arguing that their children should remain in the zone for that school. Officers agreed and adapted the new zones accordingly.

Eleven responses were received to the consultation along with a further three written responses – officers admitting that was not a high response but sufficient, saying: “Proportionally, the Council received few responses to the survey – however, it has set out a clear rationale for the proposal and has fully consulted with stakeholders.

“It has listened to the views expressed regarding the proposal and given reassurance to families where required.”