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Gretna’s extra classrooms likely to be removed

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Annan and Eskdale
Gretna’s extra classrooms likely to be removed

THE temporary classrooms installed at Gretna Primary due to fears around a lack of capacity will likely be removed in a couple of years.

Education chiefs have confirmed the school roll is in fact dropping, rather than increasing, and therefore the two additional temporary classrooms will no longer be a necessity.

The situation was explained in an updated report on school rolls in the region, which is due to be discussed at Dumfries and Galloway Council’s education committee next Thursday.

The report reads: “The capacity of Gretna Primary School was 308 and this was increased to 372 due to the inclusion of temporary additional accommodation as agreed at this (education) committee in May 2021.

“The roll of Gretna Primary School has fallen from 306 (census September 2020) to 273 (census September 2023). The temporary additional accommodation is expected to remain at Gretna Primary School until October 2025, at which point it will be removed unless there is an increase in pupil roll.

“Officers will continue to scrutinise birth rate data and enrolment data over the coming years.”

The expansion of Gretna Primary was approved by council planning chiefs in September last year.

The two additional temporary classrooms were deemed essential at the time due to an anticipated climb in pupil roll numbers.

Councillors approved the installation of a double modular building at the rear of the school to provide extra teaching capacity.

It is only allowed to be in place for three years from the date of planning permission and the land must be properly reinstated afterwards.

The need for additional classrooms had been raised by parents and teachers due to a lack of adequate space within the school.

While there were actually enough classrooms, the pupil roll was still high and it was acknowledged that there was no dedicated space for providing mental health support for pupils.

Meanwhile, parents of children moving into P1 and S1 at schools across the region in August 2024 will be asked to enrol their children during January 2024.

School capacities will be shared on the Dumfries and Galloway Council website to assist parents in making decisions on where to enrol their child.

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