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Concern for Butterstone pupils as school deadline passes

The mothballed Forteviot Primary
The mothballed Forteviot Primary

Families hit by the closure of the New School at Butterstone last year have said they are unable to meet a council deadline to sign up for a temporary alternative place.

Today is the last date for parents to register their children with Perth and Kinross Council, which plans to open the mothballed primary school at Forteviot to accommodate the pupils until a longer-term solution can be found.

Parents have also been offered the opportunity to make an application to another independent school or to home school their children, all of whom have additional support needs.

But families – many of whom had to take their local authorities to court to fund a place at the fee-paying New School – say the plan’s temporary nature makes it “entirely unsuitable” for their children and that they are unable to meet the deadline.

Lee Archibald, who co-chairs the Butterstone Parents Group, said: “Basically the parents don’t find the deadline helpful and have requested a meeting with all parties involved to discuss.

“They don’t feel they have been provided with enough information and that Forteviot is the right place for the kids.

“The kids can’t handle transitions and there is no guarantee that this new school will continue after the summer. To offer them a temporary school that doesn’t have full access to all the subjects isn’t the answer,” she added.

The council confirmed in December last year that is was planning to open the primary  after it emerged that only one of the New School’s pupils had managed to make alternative arrangements after it was shut with only four days’ notice.

Lee Archibald with son Sol ArchibaldA spokesperson said: “Providing an educational base at the Forteviot Primary School building is part of the longer term interim arrangements being offered to families.

“Where attending Forteviot is the preferred option for young people and their families, the pupils will be enrolled at their catchment schools in Perth and Kinross, but receive their education provision from the Forteviot Primary School building.

“This arrangement is similar to models already used elsewhere in Perth and Kinross, for example the Navigate service for pupils who need additional support. Opportunities are being provided for families to visit Forteviot, and for the young people be involved in personalising the space to ensure that they feel a sense of belonging and ownership.”

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