Eastern Primary School Relocation - Decision Time

After a long tussle at the Education Committee earlier tonight (Monday evening), the proposal to relocate Eastern Primary School to the former Grove Academy buildings was approved. But the Education Convener, Liz Fordyce, did not have it all her own way and had to offer a major concession to Opposition Councillors from the Ferry. This took the form of establishing a Project Management Board with parent and resident involvement.

I am convinced that this concession was extracted by dint of the visible and vocal objections from parents/carers and residents with an interest in the relocation of Eastern Primary School, whose concerns I was also able to represent a the Education Committee.

The outstanding concerns that had stirred residents and parents/carers to contact me and other Councillors in The Ferry were principally about child safety, traffic management and securing the educational benefit of the relocation. As Eastern Primary School will effectively become part of an education campus with Grove Academy, it seemed important that Grove staff and parents were also included on the Project Board. After all, the Grove and Eastern staff and pupils will be using the same footpaths and roads to access their school.

The Project Board will be Chaired by the Chief Executive, David Dorward and will comprise:
  • elected members (Convener of Education and four Ferry Councillors),
  • Director of Education,
  • the Head Teachers of Eastern Primary School and Grove Academy,
  • 2 Parent Council members from each of Eastern Primary School and Grove Academy,
  • I Teacher Union representative,
  • I Community Council representative,
  • a representative of Tayside Police and
  • any other relevant Council officer as the Director the Director of Education and the Chief Executive deems appropriate.

The first meeting of the Project Board will be held in December and the Board will stay in place until after Eastern Primary School has relocated and until the members are satisfied that measures to secure pupil safety and mitigate traffic management issues were effective.

While this is a victory for common sense in Broughty Ferry, it is also an important precedent. Previously it was only the new build schools projects in the city that have had this level of project management with input from parents and community.