Learning estate transformation across Tayside

Published on Friday 18 January 2019

A radical proposal for a new joint integrated community learning campus shared by Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross councils will be put to all three councils in their forthcoming committees next week.

Each council will be reviewing options for their own school estates and the opportunities that a shared campus could present for them. The reports detail proposals that would see closer working between the three councils on plans for a learning facility.

Proposals for the Tri-council campus could see children and young people from 2 to 18 as well as the wider community benefiting from the new facility. A site has yet to be identified but is likely be located around the shared boundary to the south west of Angus, the western boundary of Dundee and the north east of Perth and Kinross. 

Angus and Dundee councils are keen to explore provision for early years, primary and secondary learning, with Perth’s interest focusing solely on secondary pupils from the Carse of Gowrie. It is anticipated that the secondary school would take in around 1,100 young people.

The committees will hear that discussions have taken place with the Scottish Futures Trust with a view to seeking funding although this project would require commitment from all councils for future capital investment as well as future running costs.

Angus Council’s Children and Learning convener Councillor Derek Wann said, “We are already working through our 30 year plan for the Angus school estate and have already included the concept of a shared campus in an informal consultation with current parents, staff, children and other stakeholders. This offers real possibilities. By sharing resources, we can provide excellent facilities for an exceptional learning environment at the heart of their community. A joint campus could far exceed anything we could achieve on our own.”

Dundee City Council’s Children and Families service convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “This report shows a range of new opportunities for schools in Dundee following the investment of hundreds of millions of pounds over the last decade.

“None of the councils individually would be able to provide a secondary large enough to provide the fullest curriculum for pupils, so the joint campus is an innovative solution for the benefit of all three areas.”

“There are also opportunities for more collaboration around Monifieth and West Broughty Ferry that can be looked at. This could mean that some primary pupils from Barnhill who attend Grove Academy under current arrangements may go on to Monifieth High School in the future as they live closer to that secondary.

Perth and Kinross Council’s Lifelong Learning convener, Councillor Caroline Shiers commented: “Our shared ambition is to provide school buildings that are fit for the challenges of the future and act as a focus for their communities. This report illustrates some of the possibilities that could be taken forward.”                                              

If the report is approved by the children and families service committee, informal consultation could go ahead until June 2019, with reports then following to each local authority on the results.

Reports will be considered on the Tri-Council campus proposal, and other local issues by Dundee City Council on Monday January 28, Angus Council on Tuesday January 29 and Perth & Kinross Council on Wednesday January 30.

This proposal will now be taken forward as part of Angus Council’s Schools for the Future programme which has already undertaken some informal consultation on a shared campus. At full council on Thursday 14 June, Angus Council approved the recommendation (Report 189/18) to expand the scope of the Monifieth Options Appraisal to include the option to work in partnership with Perth and Kinross and Dundee City Councils to create a joint integrated community campus serving the south Angus area.