School consultation report published

Angry parents and pupils of Burnbrae Primary in Bonnyrigg, pictured in March when the move was first announced.
Angry parents and pupils of Burnbrae Primary in Bonnyrigg, pictured in March when the move was first announced.

The consultation report has been published for the proposed relocation of P1 and nursery pupils from Burnbrae to a new joint campus.

Midlothian Council proposes splitting the five-year-old ever-growing school, moving the youngest learners to the proposed joint campus on the former Hopefield Primary School site, to be shared with St Mary’s RC Primary School and due to open in August 2019. The P2-P7 classes will stay at the existing school on Burnbrae Road.

Forty-four individual responses to the consultation were received either by email, in writing or through the online questionnaire. Twenty respondents opposed the proposal, eight supported it and the remainder sought clarification on a range of points within the proposal.

Parents raised a number of questions and concerns in their written responses and at a public meeting. Their main concerns were significant drop-off and pick-up challenges for families who have children attending both sites, with some suggesting staggered school starts and finishes. Respondents also noted that the walking route was currently not safe and was in need of upgrading.

Midlothian Council has promised to review School Travel Plans and parking requirements through its Policy and Road Safety Team when planning the new school, and upgrade walking routes to schools to enable a safe and pleasant journey between the two sites.

The local authority has also promised to maintain strong communication links with all stakeholders going forward.

The consultation report for the St Mary’s RC move has also been published. In total 13 responses were received, 11 respondents made clear statements supporting the proposal, while two did not comment. Generally, respondents welcomed the move. However, some concerns were raised around the construction of the new school and a small number asked for assurances on the safety of the buildings. Two respondents objected to the joint campus while some asked questions around the use of shared spaces.

There is now a period of three weeks for further consideration before a decision is made on whether to progress with the proposals, expected at the next Midlothian Council meeting on August 29.

Any feedback or comments should be emailed to: educationconsultation@midlothian.gov.uk or you can telephone Joni Connell on 0131 271 3748.