Council to ditch Penicuik schools’ merger plan

Proposals to merge Penicuik’s two high schools look set to be abandoned by the local authority.

Midlothian councillors voiced their opposition to the option of a split-site school at a seminar on Tuesday morning. The announcement was made shortly after the Advertiser deadline.

Officials have been asked to prepare a report for the full council setting out alternative options for tackling the problem of falling school rolls at Penicuik and Beeslack High Schools.

Other options include building a merged school on a single site, adjusting the catchment areas of both schools, and increasing joint provision of minority subjects at senior school level.

Seminar chairman Provost Adam Montgomery, who recently announced his opposition to the merger proposal, welcomed the outcome of the meeting.

“We have listened carefully to the views of the local community who expressed strong opposition to the idea of a split-site school. Accordingly, we’ve advised our education division not to proceed with the split-site option and to prepare a full report setting out alternative ways of addressing the serious problem of falling school rolls in the Penicuik area,” he said.

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Read the full reaction in next week’s Advertiser.