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Campus 'success' goes on

Midlothian is to press ahead with a further joint campus school, bringing together two primaries in Loanhead. The Roman Catholic St Margaret's primary would be rebuilt on the extended site of Loanhead primary under a public private partnership (PPP) project that will share community and sports facilities.

The media furore over a pound;33 million joint campus in Dalkeith has failed to dampen the council's enthusiasm for using PPP to bridge religious boundaries. Midlothian has repeatedly criticised press coverage of the campus, involving St David's High, Dalkeith High and Saltersgate special school, as unfair and exaggerated. It hails the initiative as a "success".

The council was yesterday (Thursday) set to consult on an extensive programme of primary school rationalisation that will lead to the closure of seven schools and four nurseries but also to major rebuilding under both the PPP initiative and more traditional funding.

It is the latest authority, under pressure from the Accounts Commission and the sweetener of PPP finance, to embark on a cull of primary schools (TESS, last week).

More than 65 per cent of its schools were built before 1970 and 25 per cent before 1950.

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