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Consultation plan for primary

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
Dumfries and West
Consultation plan for primary

A KIRKCUDBRIGHTSHIRE primary school which has been in limbo since 2019 could permanently close early next year.

Carsphairn Primary was mothballed by education chiefs, having had no pupils on the roll since August 2019.
Dumfries and Galloway Council started a consultation on its closure in March 2020 – but then the pandemic unfolded and halted any progress.
Education bosses are now aiming to revive their consultation plans and have produced a potential timelines for it being carried out in the community throughout this year.
John Thin, the council’s head of education, has produced a report on the matter, which is due to be tabled at next Tuesday’s education committee.
He wrote: “The impact of Covid-19 has significantly limited our ability to consult on the proposal fully and effectively, due to the requirements to avoid contacts within our schools and communities.
“Officers now seek to provide the local, affected community with a degree of certainty on the timescales for commencement of the consultation.”
It is being suggested that a proposal paper is published by the end of August, with a six-week conultation period commencing in September.
During that time a public meeting would be scheduled, followed by a three-week period where Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education (HMIE) would consider representations.
A report with the details of the consultation would then be published at the end of the year, with the council finalising its intention for the Carsphairn Primary in January or February 2023.
However, the Scottish Government will have the final say around March 2023
At the moment children who live in or move into Carsphairn go to Dalry Primary around 10 miles away.
Last year, Carsphairn Community Council members complained that parents wanted to send their kids to Carsphairn Primary but were not able to do so.
Chairwoman Liz Holmes said: “People cannot enrol their children. How can we get it up and running again and show there are children who could be taught they if they are not being allowed to enrol?
“It is a catch 22. We have another family that has moved into the village that wants to enrol and we expect more people to move into the community.
“We accept we can’t have it with only two or three children, it is not a real education as they are not getting the social side but we are not being given the chance.
“The school is important for the viability of the community. If we can start small, even if we can get the nursery open, it gives us the possibility to grow.”

Dumfries and West

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