‘A new school is the number one priority’

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the battle lines were drawn in the sand at Portobello a long time ago.

The dozens of Drop the Appeal and Portobello United posters stuck in windows around the area tell their own story.

The 1400 pupils at Porty High – and all those that will follow them in the years to come – need a new school.

And for the overwhelming 
majority of local people that is 
priority number one.

Sadly, the bid to build on Portobello Park has divided the community. Hopefully, over time, those rifts can be healed.

The Evening News pinned its colours to the mast a long time ago. And everything that we have said in the past goes double today.

These children need a new school – and as soon as possible.

We don’t lightly advocate building on a park, but in this case it was the right thing to do. And it may well still be the best option.

Despite the appalling state of its facilities, Portobello remains a 
“trophy” high school, one of which any city would be proud.

That is due to the talent and hard work of headteacher Peigi Macarthur, her staff and pupils.

But it is also thanks to the commitment and support of parents and the wider community. It makes no sense to take the school out of that community in order to build a new one elsewhere.

There may yet be a better option, one which would deliver a new school quicker, possibly involving more creative use of the existing site.

However, going to the Scottish Parliament to overturn the specific ban on building on that park remains a strong option.

If that is what it takes to build a new high school in Portobello, then that is what should happen.

The main event

It is here at long last. Edinburgh’s chance to honour our Olympic 
heroes.

The city has pushed the boat out, with a gold bus no less, for what is certain to be a fantastic event on 
Sunday. Of course, as the Evening News has said all along, this has happened far too late. Not acting sooner to capitalise on the wave of enthusiasm from London 2012 was a real missed opportunity.

Better late than never though, and hopefully the crowds will turn out in their thousands to celebrate the city’s success and mark a truly historic occasion as Sir Chris Hoy becomes one of the select few handed the 
freedom of the city.

All the attention may be on the warm-up event in Glasgow today – but the real party will be in 
Edinburgh on Sunday.