A key stage in the Arbroath Primary Schools Project is reached when our Children & Learning committee considers a recommendation for a shared £14.5 million campus for Hayshead and St Thomas Primary schools in Arbroath.
At their meeting on Tuesday (7 November), the committee will be asked to approve proposals for the development of a new campus on the Hayshead site where pupils and staff of both schools, as well as an early years facility, would be co-located.
Both schools would retain their own identities and ethos. They would have their own teaching spaces and other dedicated areas, including halls and general purpose rooms.
Children & Learning Convener, Councillor Mark Salmond said: “The Arbroath Primary Schools Project represents an outstanding investment in our children and our communities. Modern resources within 21st century surroundings, as well as he excellence of our teaching staff, offers children the very best start along their educational journey and in life.
“Phase one of the project has been warmly embraced by the communities around the brand new Warddykes and Timmergreens primary schools. A new bespoke, shared campus for children attending Hayshead and St Thomas’ will also provide them with a safe, secure and, I hope, inspirational learning environment and give the wider community schools they can be proud of.”
Formal consultation was carried our earlier this year so as to present an opportunity for as many people as possible in the local area to contribute their views to the project team. This included consultation events for the public, staff and online. Importantly, it also included events where the views of children were sought. There is also ongoing engagement with the Diocese of Dunkeld and the church education representative.
There were 639 responses collated in total, after which a report was issued to Education Scotland. Having considered the report and the consultation with children, staff and parent at both schools, Education Scotland said the proposal had clear educational benefits for children who may attend the campus in the future. Our consultation report was published last month.
While the response has been broadly positive and supportive of the shared campus proposal, it is not unanimous. The project team recognises further engagement is needed to give reassurance about retaining the ethos and identity of both schools and how shared facilities would be managed. Future engagement would include workshops events with children, parents, staff and other stakeholders from both schools. These events would help to inform the project’s design development and the project team would maintain ties with the schools throughout the duration of the project’s development.
If proposals are agreed, it is hoped that construction would begin in September next year.
This phase of the Arbroath Schools Project also includes the replacement of Ladyloan and Muirfield primary schools, at a cost of £8.8 and £8.6 million respectively. The £12.6 million first phase of the project saw the creation of new school buildings for children at Warddykes and Timmergreens primaries.