Under-threat Pitlochry High School has been saved from the axe.
Councillors will be told next week to formally drop a proposal to close the Highland Perthshire secondary.
It was one of several options being considered for the future of the school as part of a region-wide estate review.
Members of Perth and Kinross Council’s lifelong learning committee will instead be asked to approve an appraisal of senior education across the Highland Perthshire area.
It follows concern that the preferred option for Pitlochry parents – keeping the school open and introducing S5 and S6 pupils – would have a damaging affect on Breadalbane School in Aberfeldy, which stood to lose about 50 to 60 students.
Pitlochry High School Parent Council chairman Andy Charlton welcomed the move. “It has taken a long time to get to this point,” he said.
“Today marks an important milestone in our efforts, along with the support of our community, to secure the existence of our secondary school.
“It also marks a possible shift towards a more collaborative and creative approach to education in the region.”
He said: “Work by the parent council to secure the future of the school will continue to the same degree of focus and commitment.”
Parents will gather to discuss the latest developments at a public meeting in the town hall on Sunday from 3pm.
In a report due to go before councillors on Wednesday March 27, service manager Carol Taylor said investment at the school had seen its condition rating rise since the consultation began.
The school roll is also expected to increase, and should reach 56% by 2024/25.
Conservative councillor and lifelong learning vice-convener Callum Purves said: “It was clear from the consultation that there was overwhelming public support for the retention of a local high school.
“This is a view that I share. In Scotland, there is a clear presumption against the closure of rural schools and I am pleased that now we have identified a viable alternative to closure in the senior phase review, we can take the option of closure off the table and provide certainty and reassurance to the community.”
He added: “The senior phase review is now a great opportunity to look at how we can improve the educational offering and subject choice across the whole of Highland Perthshire, through the use of innovative solutions such as technology and working with partners such as Perth College.”
However, local independent councillor Xander McDade urged some caution. “The community will welcome this reassurance, but I would also urge the administration to rule out removing S4 from Pitlochry which would create significant issues going forward and likely lead to closure in the long term.
“The administration need to commit to significant investment in the building now to ensure the school has a long and secure future ahead where it continues to be at the heart of our community.”
Tory councillor John Duff said the senior phase education review would benefit both Breadalbane and Pitlochry. “It will seek to strengthen the relationship between the schools, enhance their work with other partners and ensure that both schools experience greater educational benefit from the new arrangement,” he said.