Councillors last week agreed to a new primary school on the site of the former Newbattle High School in Easthouses.
A new two-stream school for 420 primary pupils and 120 pre-school children will be built to accommodate plans to build 1,200 houses across areas from Easthouses to Gorebridge, which gives rise to a need for around 400 additional primary school places and 112 pre-school places.
The council previously approved recommendations to build 220 affordable homes on the former Newbattle High School. Standing Orders were suspended to alter that decision. Now, as well as the new school, 150 homes will be built on the site. The school will also have an enhanced nurture provision to support pupils with social, emotional or behavioural needs.
Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, Cllr Jim Muirhead (Lab) said: “Masterplans to regenerate key areas in Easthouses, Mayfield, Newtongrange and Gorebridge, and the council’s social house building programme, have identified sites with capacity for around 1,200 additional houses.
“This decision updates our learning estate strategy, which makes sure we have enough school places for future pupil numbers, to take account of the pupils who will come from these additional houses.
“As the former Newbattle High School site is in council ownership and has to date been a school site, a new school building can be delivered relatively quickly.”
The cost of building the new school in Easthouses will be offset by reducing the size of the planned primary school at Kippielaw from a capacity of 630 to 420 primary pupils.