Decision taken on Inveravon Primary School
Moray Council has today (24 May 2023) agreed to carry out its proposal to permanently close Inveravon Primary School at Ballindalloch.
The school has been mothballed since August 2017 after the number of pupils dropped from 13 to zero. No requests from parents to enrol a child at Inveravon have been made over the past six years.
Following a period of informal engagement on the future of the school with parents in the school catchment and the wider community, the council undertook statutory consultation from 29 August 2022 until 7 October 2022 on the closure proposal.
Last month, the Council’s Education, Children's and Leisure Services Committee considered the outcome of the consultation and agreed to recommend to Full Council that Inveravon Primary School be permanently closed.
Elected Members today made the decision to end education provision at Inveravon Primary and extend the catchment areas of Aberlour, Glenlivet and Knockando Primary Schools to include the Inveravon catchment. The majority of the 15 children in catchment have been attending Knockando Primary School.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Kathleen Robertson, who also chairs the Education, Children's and Leisure Services Committee, said: “We are grateful to everyone who gave their views at public meetings, by letter, during classroom discussions with pupils at their schools, and by way of the online survey.
“Considering the closure of a school is always difficult as we know how much they mean to our communities, families and young people across Moray. We must consider, however, what is best educationally for our young people in the Inveravon catchment area, both now and in the future, and we are satisfied this decision brings educational benefits. Most parents and children support the proposal to close the school and extending the catchment to the three neighbouring schools will offer maximum parental choice.”
A report by Education Scotland addressing educational aspects of the proposal also concluded there will be educational benefits for the children in catchment. His Majesty’s Inspectors of Education said the proposal provides clarity for both families and for staff in the neighbouring schools that the children have attended since the mothballing of the school. Children now attend schools with larger and more stable pupil rolls and there are clear educational and social benefits to learning alongside peers of similar ages and stages.
As required under the terms of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010, Scottish Ministers will be notified of the council’s decision and provided with copies of the proposal document and consultation report.
Representation can be made to the Scottish Ministers over the next three weeks to oppose or support the school closure. Any submission should be emailed to email@example.com or posted to The Scottish Government, School Infrastructure Unit, 2A (South) Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ by the deadline of midnight on Wednesday 14 June 2023.
Scottish Ministers then have a further five weeks to decide if there are grounds to call-in the council’s decision for further investigation. The council cannot implement the closure of the school (either in full or in part) until Ministers have reached a final decision.
The Inveravon Primary School proposal document and consultation report are published here on the council website.