As a community group we are hugely disappointed that there is a further delay to South West Edinburgh schools review, a process that has already lasted almost a full school year.
In that time the reason behind the schools review has changed repeatedly. Initially, it was that Currie High was falling down and that it was projected to be over-capacity in the near future. Since then the goalposts have shifted as reports and proposals have referred to the need to:
l React to a change in Balerno’s catchment as a result of the new West Edinburgh High School.
l Change how special needs education is delivered in Edinburgh.
l Reflect a proposal that would be most likely to receive government funding.
Most recently, it has focused on the educational needs of the Wester Hailes community. It has taken nine months to get to what should have been a key focus from the outset.
Wester Hailes Education Centre has seen significant improvements in recent years. If others within the Wester Hailes community feel their children’s needs are best served through an alternative then it is important that is listened to, but that does not need to be at the exclusion of the views from elsewhere in south west Edinburgh.
In their thousands, the communities of Currie, Juniper Green and Baberton Mains have been loud and clear in their desire to build on the success of Currie High School; address the serial under-investment in the buildings that lead to the creation of the Review; don’t break up the communities that have used it for generations.
This is not about snobbery, as some would like to characterise it, or not wanting a comprehensive school with a wide social mix.
One of the many success stories in South West Edinburgh schools is the relationship between Currie HS and Woodlands Special School.
I firmly believe that by working together as a community across South West Edinburgh and talking to each other, we can find a solution that provides the best possible education for every child in South West Edinburgh.
Aonghas McIntosh, Save Our Schools member, Juniper Green & Baberton Mains Community Council member