East Lothian Council

New schools and catchment areas approved

Published Wednesday 29th March 17

School sessions dates consultation

New primary schools for the proposed Blindwells and Craighall developments in East Lothian,

Changes to catchment areas for several local schools, were today approved at a meeting of East Lothian Council.

At a full meeting of East Lothian Council, councillors voted to approve the creation of new schools at the proposed Blindwells site near Prestonpans and the Craighall area at Musselburgh. The decision follows reports on statutory public consultations which were carried out in November and December of 2016.

A new primary school with early learning and childcare provision will be established for the Blindwells primary school catchment area, subject to approval being given for the Blindwells development at a planning committee meeting to be held on Wednesday 29 March. The new school will initially be established at Cockenzie Primary School through a temporary hosting arrangement until the primary school building is complete. The catchment areas for Preston Lodge High School and St Gabriel’s RC Primary School in Prestonpans will be extended to include the Blindwells new settlement, where 1,600 homes are planned. Education Scotland noted that almost all parents, pupils and staff who met with HM Inspectors supported the proposal to build a new school.

The council also voted to approve a new school for the Craighall area, subject to the adoption of the emerging Local Development Plan. The new school will be established initially at Stoneyhill Primary School via a hosting arrangement until the new building is completed.  Developer contributions will be sought to fund the costs of building the new schools and to ensure that there is sufficient capacity and facilities at Preston Lodge High School and St Gabriel’s RC Primary School.

At the same meeting, approval was given to extend the catchment areas for the proposed Letham Mains Primary School in Haddington, removing this area from the Haddington Infant School and King’s Meadow Primary School catchment areas. Education Scotland noted that this proposal had clear educational benefits because it would provide children living in the Letham Mains development with modern, purpose built accommodation, and it would reduce the possibility of overcrowding at the other Haddington primary schools. The proposal to alter the catchment area of Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School in Musselburgh to include the allocated land at Levenhall was also approved.

Fiona Robertson, Head of Education at East Lothian Council, said:

“I want to thank everybody who has been involved in or participated in these consultations. The changes in catchment areas, and the proposal to build new schools, are the best solution to making sure we continue to provide appropriate and effective education for the young people of East Lothian. The council is committed to ensuring that effective and robust transition programmes will be put in place to ensure continuity and progression in learning for pupils who will be attending schools as part of hosting arrangements, and we are committed to continuing to engage with stakeholders over these plans as they develop.”

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