Rising Rolls Update

UPDATE FROM THE PARENT COUNCIL: Rising Rolls at Trinity Primary School

You may be aware that Trinity Primary Parent Council has been in discussions with the City of Edinburgh Council over the past six months regarding the issue of rising school rolls in the catchment area. The City Council is also considering similar issues at Victoria Primary School, and has taken the decision to consider both schools together. 
A workshop was held in October 2016 to present these options to parents in more detail. (The presentation is attatched to this article) 55 parents, representing over 100 current and future Trinity Primary pupils, attended the workshop and were asked to provide feedback on the three options. Briefly, these are:

1. A new school for Victoria at the Western Harbour. The Trinity Primary School catchment boundary would change slightly in terms of existing housing but the key point is that all of the new developments planned around Ocean Terminal would move to the new Victoria catchment. Trinity Primary would therefore, according to the forecasts, be able to accommodate all catchment children on the current site.

2. A new school for Victoria at the Western Harbour, but no catchment change. This means that there would be a requirement for significant additional capacity at Trinity, which would be achieved by using the former Fort Primary School as an annexe. 

3. Victoria is relocated to a redeveloped and extended school on the site of the former Fort Primary School. This would create significant catchment changes for both schools.
My feeling from the workshop was that there was a clear preference for Option 1, some concerns over Option 2 and significant concerns, particularly regarding social diversity, about Option 3. There were also some general points that came through pretty consistently:

  • a requirement to ensure and demonstrate that the options appraisal is robust: that the numbers on which they are based are reasonable, and that all development have been considered;
  • a requirement to ensure that the solutions will be sufficient to accommodate further growth in population;
  • a desire to align whatever is happening at the primary school level with planned developments/investment at Trinity Academy;
  • strong demand for a sibling guarantee for families affected by catchment change.

My planned next steps as far as this is concerned are:

  •  To provide comments and feedback on the Council's reporting of the workshop, expected in November 2016.
  • To continue to speak with the Parent Councils at Victoria and Trinity Academy - I recently met with the Chairs of each and the discussion was very useful. 
  • To engage with our local Councillors - they have all accepted my invitation to attend our next two Parent Council meetings (6th Dec and 18th Jan) specifically to discuss this issue. If any parents would like to pursue this individually then please do so!
  • Once the preferred option(s) are put out to statutory consultation, run a parent survey on these options to determine the Parent Council's official response. 

I will keep you updated as the process continues. If you would like to find out more please come to our next Parent Council meeting at 7.30pm on Tuesday December 6th, or feel free to contact me directly at helenjanethomas@hotmail.com

Helen Duncan

Chair, Trinity Primary School Parent Council