School catchments may be tweaked to encourage housing

West Calder High School
West Calder High School
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School catchment areas in West Lothian are set to be re-drawn in a bid to move forward the development of much-needed housing.

West Lothian Council has said the changes are needed to ensure development within the county can continue amid fears schools could become overcrowded.

Livingston Village Primary School

Livingston Village Primary School

Central Livingston and Greenrigg/Whitburn have already been identified as priority areas for school consultations, which will begin this autumn. But reviews of Bathgate, Broxburn, Linlithgow, West Lothian, Livingston, Almond Valley and Winchburgh could follow.

The council’s education executive last week heard that, under current arrangements, the residential development of both Buchanan House and New Calder Paper Mills sites would lead to overcrowding at Livingston Village Primary School and capacity difficulty at St Paul’s Primary School and West Calder High School.

Several schools that serve Central Livingston and the Calders will be the first to be discussed. In both cases schools nearby have spare places.

Councillor for education Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: “It is important that the council head off potential problems when it comes to education provision in areas of West Lothian. It is especially important that development continues in West Lothian, despite the current economic conditions, and this consultation is part of the council’s strategic efforts to ensure that we are not left in a position whereby planning developments are refused or delayed significantly due to a lack of education provision. The consultation will give residents an opportunity to have their say.”

St Paul's Primary School

St Paul's Primary School

The current non-denominational primary school for the Buchanan House site is Livingston Village Primary School, which is already over capacity.

It is proposed that the catchment boundary for Buchanan House be re-aligned to include Toronto Primary, Howden St Andrews Primary, Inveralmond Community High School and St Margaret’s Academy.

Mid Calder Primary is the current non-denominational primary school for the New Calder Paper Mills site and the denominational primary St Paul’s. The non-denominational secondary school is West Calder High School.

It is suggested the boundary be amended to include the catchment area for Dedridge Primary, St Ninian’s Primary, James Young High School and St Margaret’s Academy.

The Central Livingston Schools consultation runs from October 29 to December 10.