Just a brief note to inform you that at their meeting yesterday, Council members approved the officers’ report and recommendation for a new build school at Fountainbridge. The decision means that after a long, long road, pupils and staff will at last get the learning environment they deserve. While not all parents favoured the new build option, a great many did. Irrespective of individual views, the fact that things are at last clarified and most importantly, confirmed, has to be good news!
I am also pleased to be able to tell you that our Deputation to the meeting was very successful. In our submission to Council we raised three issues : the limited capacity of the school; the site size and configuration; and the potential for development of outside sports facilities at Harrison Park East.
As a result of the submission, our engagement with local Councillors and our Deputation yesterday, all three of our concerns were fully taken on board. Councillor Paul Godzick (Education Committee Convenor) moved that if there was no opposition, he would like to propose three amendments to the report and that Council approve it subject to these amendments. This was agreed.
In summary the three amendments to the report were:
A. Proposed by the Administration (Labour and SNP):
1. Note the intention for a further report to Council at Stage D & include detailed consideration of options to enhance outdoor sports facilites
2. Explore possible re-configuration of the site and the park, with options to be discussed with local elected members.
B. Proposed by the Green Party – and accepted by the Administration:
Approach Scottish Government for further discussion on appropriate school roll to base funding package on.
C. Proposed by the Conservative Party and Verbal Assurance given by the Administration:
1. Note the intention to explore ways to reconfigure the site and park.
2. Discussions to include consideration of the Increase the role from 1150 to 1200.
It is clear from both the cross party nature of the amendments and the subsequent absence of debate that there had clearly been constructive discussion between the parties and a high level of agreement on the merits of our case. Clearly there can be no guarantees about the outcome on these issues but the fact that they are now on the agenda and embraced within Council policy means that there will inevitably be much closer interest in, and scruitiny of, developments in these areas - particularly in terms of future reporting to Council.
Our deputation to the meeting was led by Alison Dunnett, Chair of the New School subgroup and Nicki Innes a member of the group. They did a great job and we are very grateful to them both.
There will no doubt be plenty more news to follow in the autumn as things progress. In the meantime however, we thank all staff at the school for their excellent efforts over the year, and we wish them and you all a very happy and restful time over the holidays.