The Labour Group on Dumfries and Galloway Council has welcomed the news that the Education Department are considering a u-turn on proposals to no longer link Duncow Primary School with Wallacehall Academy.
Until recently, Duncow was jointly zoned with Dumfries High School and Wallacehall. However, in May this year, members of the ruling Tory and SNP coalition voted in favour of zoning Duncow with only Dumfries High School despite parents request to be zoned with Wallacehall Academy which was nearer. At the meeting on 28 May Labour councillors voted in favour of zoning Duncow with Wallacehall and have now welcomed the proposed u-turn being discussed at the Education Committee today (17 September)
Commenting on the move, Labour Group Education Spokesperon Jeff Leaver said:
“The council coalition has finally seen sense on this matter and at last the council is listening to parents. Severing the link with Wallacehall Academy was totally against the wishes of parents. It would have made life far more difficult for parents as they would have to find a way to get their children into Dumfries, both in the morning and in the afternoon. This would have provided especially difficult if a child wanted to take part in after-school clubs or activities.”
“A number of groups, such as the parent’s council and the local Kirkmahoe Community Council, opposed a change in the relationship between the local primary school and the local high school. Yet the council coalition looked to be ignoring them and going ahead with the change. The Labour Group put down an amendment in May of this year asking that the council to reverse their decision and maintain the link between the primary school and the Academy. Although it was initially defeated, it looks like the council are relenting and we and the local community have got the right result for the children.”
Councillor Jim Dempster, also a member of the Education Committee, added:
“This is the desired outcome by parents and children alike. It is important that we maintain the link between rural primary schools and high schools so that the transition from primary school to high school is as easy possible for the children. I hope we can get the final decision approved as soon as possible.”