Highland Perthshire parent councils have been praised for their part in working to secure the future of their schools.
On Wednesday, representatives from Pitlochry High School, Breadalbane Academy and Grandtully Primary Schools spoke to the council’s lifelong learning committee about the second phase of its school estate review.
Grandtully had only 11 pupils in 2015 but since the review began, the school roll has soared to 63% of capacity and councillors’ plaudits went to the parent council whose hard-fought campaign helped boost the numbers and the school’s viability.
More than 100 people attended a drop-in event to discuss the future of the school, and councillors applauded the parent council representatives for attracting such interest.
Pitlochry High School closure was taken off the table earlier this month after a tenacious campaign but options are still being looked at for the future of the upper school.
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This was welcomed by Breadalbane parent council, however the group believed the review was “fundamentally flawed” and did not take into account long term growth or A9 dualling.
Highland ward councillor John Duff said: “It is great result for all three schools affected. Grandtully will remain open and we will explore with Logierait the positive opportunity to establish some early learning and childcare provision which will help to sustain its roll for the future.
“I particularly welcome that we have removed the closure option for Pitlochry and will establish a review of senior phase education for Highland Perthshire. This is the crux of the matter and I look forward the outcome of that process.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the hard work and excellent commitment from the parent councils, community councils, pupils, parents and local communities for their overwhelming support for their local schools.”
The schools are in the second phase of the council’s school estate review along with Cleish and Ruthvenfield primaries and options appraisals have been looked at since August last year for the future of the buildings.
Both primary schools fall in Category C for building condition, meaning that investment is required to secure the schools’ futures.
Strathtay councillor Grant Laing is keen to see money invested into Ruthvenfield, which is at the centre of an are which could see a spike in development over the coming decade.
He said: “Ruthvenfield Primary is a fantastic school but needs investment in order to continue providing first class education to young learners.”
The SNP group’s education spokesperson John Rebbeck added: “We asked for a formal update at the end of June in regard to progress being made, as Ruthvenfield’s final proposals are not due to come back to committee until September and we would like reassure parents, pupils and staff alike in the meantime as to what’s happening.”