St Margaret's RC to close to primary education
Councillors have approved a recommendation to end primary education at St Margaret’s Roman Catholic Primary in Loanhead from 1 July 2022.
The school currently has no primary pupils.
The decision, at the full Council meeting on Tuesday comes after councillors considered the outcome of a public consultation on the proposals, which ran from September to November 2021.
No attendees at public meeting
Councillors heard no members of the public came along to an in-person meeting about the plan or an online meeting.
Responses to the survey
A total 71 people filled in an online survey about the proposals and one response was emailed to the education team.
What you told us
Of the survey responses, 30 agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal to end primary education provision, 38 disagreed or disagreed strongly, 2 gave no opinion and 1 did not answer.
The council will now notify Scottish Ministers of the decision. Scottish Ministers then have eight weeks to decide to call-in the proposal. Within three weeks of the council decision, anyone can make a representation to the Scottish Minister about the proposal.
The council’s statutory consultation must be overseen by Education Scotland, the executive agency of the Scottish Government, tasked with improving the quality of the country's education system
The Education Scotland report summary states: “The council provides a strong case for the proposed discontinuation of primary education provision at St Margaret’s RC Primary School with effect from 1 July 2022. If the proposal is implemented, HM Inspectors consider that the proposal has the potential to support the council in providing high-quality denominational provision across six RC primary schools.”
In 2019, the council’s education service started a review of denominational schools in Midlothian against a backdrop of a national shortfall in availability of teachers with approval necessary to teach in Roman Catholic (RC) schools.
Informal consultation meetings were held with staff and parents over 2019 and 2020. Parental support for the Roman Catholic schools in Midlothian in terms of choice of school remained strong throughout this period with the exception of St Margaret’s RC PS.
The school roll at St Margaret’s RC PS fell from 40 to 18 pupils (and is now none) and there were indications that a number of these children would move to other schools in the near future.