Plans for two new primary schools in Edinburgh

The oldest school building still used in the Capital will close its doors after education bosses drew up plans for two new education institutes in the city.

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 5:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 6:00 pm
An artist's impression of the new Victoria Primary School proposed for Windrush Drive

Proposals for two new primary schools, which will cater for a total of 1,000 children, have been tabled on behalf of the city council.

Designs have been lodged with planners for a new Victoria Primary School in Leith as well as a new school in the south of the city on Frogston Road East as part of the Broomhills housing development. Both schools will be funded by developers carrying out substantial 
house-building projects in the neighbourhoods of the new schools. Victoria and Broomhills schools will each have room for 420 pupils alongside 80 nursery places each – and both will have the potential to expand on site if required. If extended, each primary school could cater for up to 630 pupils.

It is hoped the new schools will both open their doors in 2020 to pupils, subject to planning permission. It is thought the existing Victoria Primary School site will be sold if it is classed as not needed by the council – and discussions could take place over community asset transfer down the line.

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Education convener, Cllr Ian Perry, said: “Edinburgh is facing unprecedented growth over the next few decades due to the population boom, so it’s vital we plan ahead so that our schools can cope with rising pupil numbers.

“Our successful strategy has already increased the capacity of the school estate by 168 classrooms since 2012 and now the strategy for our primary school estate is becoming a reality with both these planning applications being considered soon.

“After this we have the Canaan Lane Primary School set to open in August 2021 and in the future we will need a new Maybury Primary as well as primary schools in the Brunstane area, Builyeon Road in South Queensferry and a replacement St Catherine’s.”

Victoria Primary will move north from its existing site on Newhaven Main Street to a new home on Windrush Drive as part of the Western Harbour development. The school is the oldest still in operation in the Capital, dating back to 1844. If planning permission is granted, the buildings will be arranged around a “three-sided courtyard area” to protect children in the playground from windy conditions from the Forth.

Education vice-convener, Cllr Alison Dickie, said: “We are building inclusive schools for the future where innovative ways of improving the learning environment are at the heart of our forward-thinking plans.

“These two new schools will have bright, flexible and modern teaching spaces and the playgrounds will create a diverse outdoor environment that is inclusive, promotes wellbeing and provides excellent outdoor learning and play opportunities. In addition, both schools will include integrated nurseries as we look to meeting the Scottish Government target of providing 1140 additional hours of free early years childcare.”

The Broomhills school will be built between Frogston Road East and Burdiehouse Road and will include a 3G pitch. The proposals include an “urban jungle” mimicking the form of the nearby Pentland Hills.