Go-ahead for new Elgin primary school

Moray CouncilA proposal to establish a new primary school to serve the rapidly expanding southern outskirts of Elgin has been approved by councillors.

Members of Moray Council’s children and young people’s services committee gave the proposal their unanimous endorsement.

The new school – a name for which has still to be decided – will open in August in temporary accommodation next to East End Primary School.

A permanent site has been earmarked to the west of Linkwood Road where it is hoped the new school will be completed by the beginning of the 2018-19 session.

Earlier this month councillors approved a masterplan for the south of Elgin which envisages 2500 new homes, along with a range of community facilities, being built over the next 30 years.

The proposal to establish a new primary school was the subject of wide-ranging consultation earlier this year when 91% of those who responded were in favour.

Sixty-three per cent agreed with establishing the school within the East End campus from August this year.

Education Scotland also supported the concept of a new primary, which it said would help the council to achieve best value by addressing capacity issues across the school estate in Elgin and provide a number of potential educational benefits for children.

The council’s senior education adviser, Paul Watson, also took the opportunity at today’s meeting to counter a claim that the case for a new school had been based on inaccurate roll forecasts for Elgin primary schools.

Mr Watson conceded that forecasts were not an exact science and that roll predictions had to be revised on an annual basis.

However, he pointed out that in 2011 it had been forecast that the combined Elgin primary school roll for 2016 would be 2297. It currently stands at 2275, only 22 less than predicted.

Mr Watson said that represented a forecast accuracy of more than 99 per cent.

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