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Double school closure recommended

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By Bob Geddes

THE Stewartry’s only Roman Catholic Primary School, which has only seven pupils, is set to be closed.

Education councillors will be recommended next week to to implement the proposal to close St Peter’s Primary in Dalbeattie after a statutory consultation process was undertaken.
Councillors will be told that the school roll has steadily diminished and is now sitting with seven children, with three of them from the catchment.
A report was given to the committee from education boss Colin Grant. He said that the statutory consultations lasted from April to June and during this period a public meeting was held at the school to discuss the proposals.
He said: “The key points which arose at this meeting were around closing the last Roman Catholic school in the Stewartry area and closing a small school which parents felt benefited the specific needs of the children.
“If it is agreed to close the school, the education authority has to inform Scottish Ministers of the decision within six working days of agreement.”
Meanwhile, a recommendation has also been made for statutory consultation to start at Drochduil Primary School during the next eight months.
It has been in a cluster with Castle Kennedy Primary School since 2012 and has a roll of just three pupils.
Mr Grant said there is no sign of significant future demand for the school, adding: “Officers now suggest that it would be prudent to commence formal consultation with the users and local community on a proposal to close the school on a permanent basis due to the low numbers and that a facility of this size cannot deliver to the full social and emotional needs of the learner.”

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