Leader comment: City must listen to concerns on west Edinburgh schools shake-up

Wester Hailes Education Centre which faces merger with Currie High
Wester Hailes Education Centre which faces merger with Currie High
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With 1300 extra pupils expected to move into west Edinburgh in the coming years, something has to change.

The city cannot sit on its hands and leave children to be educated in increasingly over-crowded - and in some cases increasingly decrepit - buildings. Taking the bull by the horns and devising a plan that will set up the expanding communities in the area for decades to come has got to be the right thing to do.

The proposals on the table will see two high schools demolished, two built and another expanded and refurbished as well as far-reaching changes to primary school catchment areas. There is a lot to take in here. The changes will impact not only on thousands of children and their families but also the wider communities who will either see new schools spring up on their doorstep or existing ones disappear.

There will be many families whose lives will be severely disrupted, who have bought a house based on the promise their child will be able to attend a particular school. Seeing the goal posts move will feel deeply unfair. What is essential now is a meaningful consultation - not a superficial, pretending to listen exercise - with all those affected.