Councillors updated on potential new school

Local people chose their preferred option

Councillors heard at the full council meeting on Tuesday that around 70 people came along to two meetings about secondary schools in Penicuik and along the A701 corridor, including the settlements of Bilston, Loanhead, Roslin and Rosewell.  Local people were presented with potential options and chose their preferred option.

Moving Beeslack was most popular choice

Moving Beeslack High School to a new site along the A701 corridor and adding Loanhead settlement to its catchment, extending Lasswade High School and refurbishing and extending Penicuik High School was the most popular of the five options. The second most favoured option also includes moving the Loanhead settlement into Beeslack’s catchment.

Finding a potential site is paramount

Councillor Bob Constable, the cabinet member for education, said: “This informal consultation has given us much food for thought. The results are pretty clear and it’s now up to us, as a council, to move forward with plans as quickly as possible. Finding a potential site is paramount and we’re also very excited at the opportunity a new school would afford us to work with Edinburgh University to establish a Centre for Excellence in Science.”

New agreement on school transport

Loanhead area pupils are catchment to Lasswade High School and are provided with home to school transport. If they opt to go to Beeslack, they have to make their own arrangements for transport. As both preferred options include moving Loanhead settlement into Beeslack’s catchment, councillors agreed on Tuesday that home to school transport will be provided and letters will be issued to all affected parents in January.

Discussions continue about creating a Centre of Excellence for Science

Councillors also heard that there are ongoing discussions with Edinburgh University about building partnerships with academic and business organisations and on securing a suitable site for Beeslack on the A701 corridor. There is significant interest in setting up a school as a Centre of Excellence for Science along the A701 corridor.  Councillors agreed to develop a funding proposal for the school and agreed that a new site should be identified as quickly as possible.

A further report will be brought before council for approval of a formal consultation on this issue.

 

20 Dec 2016