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Source: Scotland – Highland Council

The Highland Council’s Chief Executive Donna Manson has written to parents and carers of children at Park Primary school in Invergordon to thank them for their continued understanding and patience as work continues to look at options following the fire that destroyed the school.

On Wednesday 1 July parents joined the Chief Executive for what has been described as a very constructive and well attended virtual meeting which was chaired by local Councillor, Maxine Smith.

Those taking part were able to watch and listen to presentations which covered issues surrounding both short- and medium-term plans and options for the school.

The Chief Executive has confirmed that on August 12 pupils of Park Primary will be returning to Invergordon Academy but with additional resources in place to compliment arrangements since the school decamped following the fire at the school on 24 February.

In her letter Donna Manson has told parents: “Following your feedback, we are making changes that will improve the experience for your children at the Academy. Additional toilet facilities will be installed, and I am pleased that the additional staff that have been in post since the fire will remain in place. We are also arranging for further additional support staff to work across Park Primary, South Lodge Primary and Invergordon Academy.  The plan is to also install a number of modular classroom units within the grounds of Invergordon Academy to provide the children with more dedicated space.

“As for the site of the fire, you will notice clearance work starting. Once this is completed we essentially have a blank canvas and can plan the way forward and find a permanent solution for the school.  To do this thoroughly and effectively the Council will continue to engage with you all as well as your local community to make sure all options for the future are looked at.” 

The Council will start informal discussions at the end of July and then a statutory consultation will begin which will give everyone the opportunity to become involved and put forward their ideas and comments. 

The Chief Executive also took the opportunity to thank parents for their support and input and pledged to continue to work together to plan for the best permanent solution.

She said: “I would also like to sincerely thank each and every one of you for your patience and understanding over what has been a very challenging time for you. Dealing with the aftermath of the fire has not been easy and the on-going challenges of dealing with the current Covid-19 pandemic has added additional pressure for us all. I want to reassure you that our priority remains ensuring that Park Primary pupils are not disadvantaged and continue to have access to a full quality learning experience which is supported by dedicated professional staff and the whole community.”

After chairing the meeting Cllr Maxine Smith welcomed the chance for parents and officials to come together.  She said: “The virtual meeting was a start to get the ball rolling with regard to Invergordon’s schooling future. We have an opportunity here to consider several options that will potentially enhance our current schooling provision. I’d like the parents and grandparents, as well as children to seriously consider what Invergordon needs in its future. There will be widespread and informative consultations to give everyone the chance to see what the different options would look like. Invergordon is great at coming together in a crisis and I’m sure the whole town will work with one another, sharing views and ideas until we come to a consensus. Whatever is chosen needs to be fit for the next 60 years.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom