Fife Council School Estate Review

A Dunfermline primary school with dwindling pupil numbers could relocate to the local high school, an MSP has suggested, to prevent disrupting the “social fabric of the community” if the school were to close.

Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker’s suggestion comes as Fife Council conducts a review of the School Estate. While no closures have been announced, performance tables show that only 31 pupils attend Wellwood Primary School. This means the school runs at 33% occupancy, making it the most expensive per pupil in its cluster.

Mr Walker, who served for five years as a Fife Councillor until May 2012, said:

“Fife Council is faced with difficult decisions in regards to the School Estate. It is vital to reduce the impact of potential closures on local communities. Schools are an essential part of the social fabric of any community.

“Several local people have approached me about the future of Wellwood Primary School, and I think it would be worth considering whether a small part of Queen Anne High School could be converted for primary pupils. Queen Anne is currently at 89% capacity and could accommodate another 195 pupils.

“Population trends mean fewer secondary pupils are coming into Queen Anne, while a higher number are leaving. It would therefore make sense to relocate the underused local primary to Queen Anne. We have seen something similar in Inverkeithing, where the primary and high schools run side-by-side and share some facilities but also have separate spaces for younger and older pupils, which I think would be absolutely essential.

“Queen Anne is only 200 yards from Wellwood Primary School, so there would not be the disruption of bussing primary pupils to a more distant school. Relocating the primary school would also help pupils with the transition to high school.

“I sincerely hope Fife Council Education Service will give this possibility serious consideration.”

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