Letters: Council’s school merger plan threatens community link

A reader got in touch concerned with the future of education in the Capital
A reader got in touch concerned with the future of education in the Capital
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One reader got in touch concerned about the Council’s education plan. But do you agree?

I have been looking with some incredulity at the council’s plans to reorganise secondary education in the Balerno to Wester Hailes corridor.

Having served in the education directorate, albeit many years ago, and elsewhere in Scotland, I recognise a desktop exercise driven by financial considerations and with little regard to the wishes of stakeholders and the impact on individuals and communities.

In essence the plan is to reduce from three secondary schools to two, and to sell off the site of Currie High School for housing. The proposals are out to consultation. I would suggest that a crystal ball will not be needed to predict the level of opposition, indeed antagonism, that will be found.

What is surprising is that our elected representatives are so in thrall to their officials, or out of touch with their electorate, or both, to allow these proposals to see the light of day.

Schooling should not be designed to achieve the minimum unit costing. Edinburgh is a large city, but its structure and history engender a strong sense of community. The schools play a massive role in that regard, at all levels – nursery, primary and secondary. That community identity impacts very directly on school discipline, achievement, sport and other extra- curricular activity.

The re-zoning threatens that essential link. Our council does not have a strong reputation for well thought through planning and delivery. Reconsidering these proposals might be a good start.

Richard Blackburn, Balerno