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Assurances given to Carsphairn parents

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Assurances given to Carsphairn parents

CARSPHAIRN residents have been given assurances that parents will continue to be consulted with each year on the status of the currently mothballed village primary school.

Despite Carsphairn Primary being temporarily closed for five years now due to unsustainable pupil numbers, locals are still hopeful the school may be revived in future if circumstances change.

They have recently been lobbying councillors, seeking reassurances about the school building.

At Dumfries and Galloway Council’s education committee last week, it was confirmed that Carsphairn, Borgue, Colvend, Kirkbean, Hottsbridge, and Lochrutten primary schools will all remain mothballed for the 2024/25 school term.

An exercise seeking pupil enrolments for Carsphairn Primary for the upcoming term only produced six requests.

Castle Douglas Councillor Iain Howie said he had received correspondence from the community in Carsphairn, adding: “They’re just seeking assurance that the exercise regarding doing a scoping of parents in the area who have children will be carried out on an annual basis.”

A council education spokeswoman said: “Absolutely. As with all of our mothballed schools, I think we will communicate in a very targeted way with those families for next year, taking on our experience from this year.

“We have to demonstrate – if we were to move to a statutory consultation process with any of our mothballed schools – that we have made all attempts to communicate with those groups.”

Meanwhile, Abbey Councillor Kim Lowe said: “I’m sure we’ve all received correspondence from the Carsphairn community about the potential for more pupils.

“A question that’s come from one of our elected members – not on this committee – is about the condition of the school and how it’s being monitored because it’s been empty for quite a while now.

“Do we know exactly were it’s at, condition-wise?”

A council education spokeswoman said: “Our colleagues in property, estates, and programmes have keys. I don’t know how frequently, but they do check on the buildings.

“There would obviously be a financial implication of bringing a building back into use that has not been used since July 2019.”

The catchment area for Carsphairn Primary School will continue to be temporarily re-aligned to Dalry Primary School.

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