Learning Estate Transformation Across Tayside

Learning Estate Transformation Across Tayside  Image

New proposals for future school developments in Dundee include a shared campus for Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross councils around the western boundary, as well as options for improved secondary buildings in the east of the city. 

While no preferred plans have yet been identified for the futures of both fire-hit Braeview Academy and also Craigie High School, a report outlines possible scenarios for both secondary schools.

Informal consultation with communities and stakeholders would be undertaken and reported back before any next steps are taken, Dundee City Council’s children and families service committee will hear at a meeting on Monday January 28.

A reported titled ‘Collaborative Approach to Learning Estate Transformation across Tayside’ details proposals that would see closer working between the three councils on plans for a joint integrated community learning campus.  This proposal will be put to all three councils at forthcoming committees.

The Tri-council campus would take in pupils aged from 3 to 18, with the location of the project dependent on the identification of suitable land. Angus and Dundee councils would be involved in the nursery, primary and secondary aspects, with Perth’s interest focusing solely on secondary pupils from the East Carse. The secondary would take in around 1,100 young people.

The committee will hear that early discussions are ongoing with the Scottish Futures Trust with a view to seeking funding from the Scottish Government for the Tayside learning estate.

Ideas for the future of Braeview Academy could see reinstatement on its current site, while there would also be continued planned maintenance on Craigie High. Any future refurbishment of both schools on their present locations would depend on the council’s future capital programme and Scottish Government funding.

The other potential option in the report involves the closure of both buildings and the construction of a new combined secondary at the former St Saviour’s High site, subject to Scottish Government funding.                                      

Children and families service convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “This report shows a range of new opportunities for schools in Dundee following the investment of hundreds of millions of pounds over the last decade.

“Through this significant expenditure into our school estate, the vast majority of buildings meet the highest ratings for condition.

“We are well aware that both Braeview Academy and Craigie High School do not meet these standards and this report shows how we could tackle those issues. There are also implications following the fire at Braeview that we need to consider.

 “At this stage there is not a preferred option for these two secondary schools and that is why our conversation with the school communities would be so vital.”

Councillor Hunter added: “The integrated learning campus is an imaginative idea that would help shape a new educational future to the west of the city, where more families will live in Dundee as housing developments in the Western Gateway expand.

“None of the councils individually would be able to provide a secondary large enough to provide the fullest curriculum for pupils, so the joint campus is an innovative solution for the benefit of all three areas.

“There are also opportunities for more collaborations around Monifieth and West Broughty Ferry that can be looked at.

“This could mean that some primary pupils from Barnhill who attend Grove Academy under current arrangements may go on to Monifieth High School in the future as they live closer to that secondary.

“Our ambition is to provide school buildings that are fit for the challenges of the future and act as a focus for their communities. This report illustrates some of the possibilities that could be taken forward.”                                              

Reports will be considered on the Tri-Council school proposal, and other local issues by Dundee City Council on Monday January 28, and by the other councils the same week.

If the report is approved by the committees, informal consultation could go ahead until June 2019, with reports then following to each local authority on the results.

Angus schools and learning convener Councillor Derek Wann said, “We are already working through our 30 year plan for the Angus school estate and have already included the concept of a shared campus in an informal consultation with current parents, staff, children and other stakeholders. This offers real possibilities. By sharing resources, we can provide excellent facilities for an exceptional learning environment at the heart of their community. A joint campus could far exceed anything we could achieve on our own.”                                                                                                   

Perth and Kinross Council’s Lifelong Learning Convener, Councillor Caroline Shiers commented: “Our shared ambition is to provide learning environments that are designed to support and enhance the opportunities learning in the 21st century presents, a good example of which is the new Bertha Park High School in Perth, currently in the final stages of construction. It is important, too, that these buildings are a focal point for their communities.”

Ends.

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