New Edinburgh school set to be called Canaan Lane Primary School after public vote

North Morningside locals have voted to name a new school currently being built in the area after the street on which it is located.

By Shona Elliott
Monday, 6th December 2021, 4:45 pm

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The school, which is being constructed at the moment, is set to be called Canaan Lane Primary School.

Letters were sent by Edinburgh City Council to 5,630 residential addresses with 1,035 valid responses returned.

The new school will be called Canaan Lane Primary School.

Of the three choices provided, Canaan Lane Primary School is the winner with 462 first choice votes.

North Morningside Primary School was the runner up with 329 first votes and Saroj Lal Primary School came in third with 234.

The council’s report on the vote states that: “While Canaan Lane Primary School did not achieve an overall majority in the first round, when the second place votes from those whose preference was Saroj Lal Primary School are applied, Canaan Lane Primary School secures 62.1 per cent compared to North Morningside Primary School’s 37.9 per cent.”

The council will take the final decision about the school’s naming tomorrow afternoon but it is expected to follow public opinion.

A group of committed campaigners who were determined to see the school named after one of Edinburgh’s first ethnic minority teachers, Saroj Lal were left extremely disappointed about the outcome.

Vineet Lal, the late Ms Lal’s son, has worked hard to encourage others to vote for the Saroj Lal Primary school.

Speaking to the Evening News, Mr Lal said he was: “Obviously, I’’m disappointed that the local community are so clearly, and unambiguously, opposed to change, and to embracing diversity.

“This was a unique opportunity to use the new school as an inspiration for generations to come, and to mark the legacy and contribution of not just Saroj but all BAME communities, of women, of teachers, to the life of the city.

“But it’s also a useful social experiment, as it shows us just how far we haven’t come in the 50 years since Saroj began teaching at SMPS, and that her struggle, and that of others like her, remains even more relevant and pertinent now, in the wake of BLM. This gives us a platform to build on.”

Edinburgh City Council has been contacted to provide a comment.

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