Children at two Angus primary schools have given the thumbs up to joining forces at a shared campus.
There were 639 responses received during a formal consultation on the proposal for a shared facility between Hayshead and St Thomas RC primary schools in Arbroath.
The proposal is to develop a building where both Hayshead and St Thomas would be co-located although the individual school identities and ethos would remain.
The consultees were made up of 368 Hayshead pupils, 110 St Thomas pupils, 44 staff, 97 parents, six community users and 14 others.
At Hayshead, 231 (63%) children were in favour of a shared campus, 105 (28%) children were in favour of the schools remaining on separate sites, and 32 (9%) children were not yet sure or had no preference.
At St Thomas, 88 (80%) children were in favour of a shared campus, 13 (12%) children were in favour of the schools remaining on separate sites, and 9 (8%) children were not yet sure or had no preference.
Many children across the age groups in both schools were able to identify things that would be good about a shared campus including the opportunity to make new friends, have more space, and to have more opportunities for clubs.
The children were also asked to identify what would be good about the schools remaining on separate sites.
Many of the children from Hayshead stated that if the schools remained separate this would result in more space in the new building and playgrounds, and that there would be less conflict between the two schools.
A total of 35 staff from Hayshead, and 10 staff from St Thomas took part in the staff consultation events.
At the event at Hayshead, 12 (34%) were in favour of a shared campus, two (6%) were in favour of the schools remaining on separate sites, and 21 (60%) had no preference.
Mostly staff had no preference, as it was acknowledged that Hayshead would receive a new school building regardless of the outcome of the consultation.
At the event at St Thomas, five (50%) were in favour of a shared campus, four (40%) were in favour of the schools remaining on separate sites.
One staff member did not respond.
The Diocese of Dunkeld initially cited that the proposal could lead to a “definite loss of the Catholic School identity.”
Prior to the publication of the consultation report, further engagement was undertaken with representatives from the Diocese of Dunkeld and the Church education representative.
A second formal response was received which stated that “a better option for the future needs of our Catholic children in Arbroath was to positively embrace the proposition of a shared campus with Hayshead Primary”.
Education Scotland said: “The proposal has clear educational benefits for children who may attend the shared campus in the future.
“These include the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence within modern, purpose-built accommodation and a rich digital learning environment with appropriate outdoor learning spaces.
“Children will potentially have access to increased learning opportunities and better socialisation across both schools.”
Both schools will have their own teaching spaces and shared ancillary spaces including halls and general purpose rooms.
The decision on the proposal will be considered at the Children and Learning Committee on November 7.