PARENTS who fought to save Currie Community High School say it’s “brilliant news” that the Scottish Government will help fund a replacement building for school.
The council dropped plans to merge Currie with Wester Hailes Education Centre in a new “super school” after a vocal campaign against the plan. And Currie was then placed top of the council’s list of six high schools in need of replacement.
Yesterday the government named Currie as one of 26 schools across Scotland to be funded in the first phase of its £1 billion Learning Estates Strategy investment programme but did not say how much cash there would be.
Naomi Barton, co-chair of the parent council at Currie, said: “We’re absolutely delighted and we’re excited to work with the council to be involved in the process for what is next - and hopefully as soon as possible.
“After fighting for the school to stay open, this is progress and we are going in the right direction for the school and the community.”
Making the announcement, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the the first phase of funding would upgrade and modernise schools across 11 local authority areas.
“Modern, state of the art buildings can make a real difference to the lives of pupils, teachers and parents, as well as the wider communities they serve. This investment continues our efforts to improve the condition of our entire learning estate, from early years through to schools and colleges.”
Edinburgh education convener Ian Perry said: “Building a new Currie Community High School has been a top priority for the council and today’s announcement is a real boost for our ambitious plans to replace six high schools as part of our Wave 4 programme.
“Just last month planning permission was approved for a new Castlebrae High School with work due to start on site later this year and we have put in place funding for phase one of a new Trinity Academy. Replacement schools for Liberton, WHEC and Balerno are all part of our plans as we aim to replace poor condition high school buildings with fit for purpose, learning and community hubs.”
Tory education spokesman Callum Laidlaw welcomed the funding for Currie. But he went on: “While we are pleased the Scottish Government have chosen to prioritise Currie, which had the worst condition survey in the city, we must also seek to secure additional Council and Government funding for replacements for the other wave 4 schools, many of which are in similarly poor condition.”
And Green councillor Mary Campbell said: “It is great news we now have certainty for the community of Currie High School, but it still feels like an emerging jigsaw in which lots of the pieces are still to be put in place. The full package for Trinity High School and for the WHEC, Liberton and Balerno high schools need to be confirmed as well, and the likely next announcement of Government funding will be September 2020 at the earliest."