Dundee warns of closures

2nd February 1996 at 00:00
Secondaries with rolls of fewer than 700 pupils will have problems delivering the Higher Still curriculum, Anne Wilson, director of education for Dundee, will tell the city council's education committee on Monday.

Arguing that Linlathen and Rockwell High Schools should be merged with Whitfield and Kirkton High Schools, Mrs Wilson maintains that schools with first-year intakes of fewer than 130 pupils and combined S5S6 rolls of fewer than 150 will experience "considerable difficulties in providing an appropriate curriculum".

Dundee is the first of the new single-tier authorities to reveal a hit list of closures, or what it prefers to call "mergers", in a bid to cut some 12 per cent from education spending. Greenfield, St Matthew's and West March primaries will also be closed.

Savings in the new financial year will total Pounds 900,000, rising to Pounds 2 million over the next two years.

John Kemp, Dundee's education convener, warned: "The mergers will not provide all the savings if we are to address the problems of the education department. We will be looking for further savings in every budget area over the next few weeks."

Mrs Wilson pointed to budgetary constraints, falling rolls, value for money and effective learning and teaching as reasons for the mergers. In the secondary sector, it was essential to have continuity of course choice and progression, something that could not be guaranteed with small rolls.

* The Western Isles's education committee on Tuesday agreed an outline framework for closing schools after officials highlighted a serious mismatch between provision and pupils. In the primary sector, there is 37 per cent under-occupancy, 30 per cent in the secondary sector and 41 per cent in the combined primaries and secondaries.

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