A public consultation that showed a majority of people do not want two high schools to merge will be re-run.
Dundee City Council’s children and families services convener Stewart Hunter said the informal consultation over the future of Braeview Academy and Craigie High Schools had “raised more questions” than it answered about the future of secondary education provision in the east of Dundee.
People were asked whether they wanted to reinstate Braeview Academy, which was badly damaged by fire last September, while continuing to maintain Craigie High School.
Alternatively, the survey asked if respondents would prefer to see the two schools merged, with a new building on Drumgeith Road.
A report to go before the children and families services committee on Monday said just 23 people had attended public consultation events over the future of the schools which made it “difficult to determine” the community’s true feelings on the proposed merger.
There were 231 responses submitted to the council via digital and paper surveys.
Of these, 132 (57%) were in favour of keeping the schools separate, with 81 (35%) backing a merger.
Just 44 of the responses were associated with the Braeview Academy community.
The report states: “This suggests that further engagement with the communities would be beneficial to gain a more balanced view between the stakeholder groups.”
Mr Hunter denied the council is merely re-running the consultation to get the response it wants.
He said: “What came out of the consultation is that people have a lot of questions and we need to do a bit more work.
“At the moment a lot of people are saying they don’t want to merge the schools but might do if they knew exactly what was on offer.
“We need to come back with a bit more detail. It gives us the opportunity to understand some of the issues parents raised. We want to go away and see what we can do for parents.”
Labour Lochee councillor Michael Marra said the SNP administration is ignoring the opinions of East End residents.
He said: “When they don’t get the answer they are looking for then they just ask the question again. That’s typical of the SNP.
“The SNP administration in Dundee has made a habit of not listening to local people.
“In the last couple of weeks alone they have ignored citizens’ pleas for a replacement community facility in Mill o’Mains and they have ignored the public outcry at the closure of Camperdown golf course.
“They promised a consultation on community facility pricing in Menzieshill and it never happened.
“The SNP administration previously promised that the two high schools would not be closed or merged. They of course went back on that promise.
“Now, local people have told them not to do it. The SNP reaction is to ignore them again. The SNP is treating the people of Dundee with contempt.”
Councillors will be asked to approve the new consultation exercise when the children and families services committee meets on Monday.
It is anticipated recommendations on the future of the two schools will then be put before elected members in December.