‘Find solutions with parents and teachers’

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Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But today’s news that the axed Fort Primary might have to be brought back into use does raise questions over the decision to close it in 2010.

Politicians and campaigners point out that they warned of such a scenario, with rising school rolls at the time the axe originally fell, and it is hard to argue with the facts.

The only positive is that as it was the previous administration which condemned the Fort, the current city council can now look at the issue afresh. If necessary, the city council can perform a U-turn without losing political face, although that will be of little comfort to the parents and children disrupted at the time.

Deciding to axe the school was a big decision in 2010 and deciding to reopen even part of the building is a huge decision now.

This comes at a time when the city council is already facing difficult situations with the closure of Castlebrae High and the ongoing battle to rebuild Portobello.

Add to that the capacity issues which other primary schools in the city are facing and it is clear that the education department is not short of problems.

The priority now must be to develop a strategy which will ensure all children in the city have a suitable environment in which to learn as soon as possible. The solutions must be developed in close consultation with both parents and teachers.

While there are no easy answers and it will clearly take time, the clock is ticking.

Most importantly, whatever is decided on the future for these schools and those across the city, we must be confident it is a model which will stand the test of time and be able to cope with predicted population changes.

We cannot be left in a situation where a big decision now simply creates a bigger headache in a couple of years’ time.

A raft of ideas

The plan to develop a whitewater rafting centre in Leith may at first seem hopelessly 
ambitious.

But the Olympic legacy is making waves for such grand plans, with the success of athletes including our own David Florence truly inspiring a generation.

Whether it comes to fruition remains to be seen, especially if it is relying on any kind of financial commitment from the council or the Scottish Government.

But with Margo MacDonald on board, it will at least get a hearing at the very top.

You never know, it may just float.