Community leaders and parent councils have joined forces to fight for Inverkeithing High School to remain in the town.
The school could be shifted to neighbouring Rosyth if councillors agree to a proposal that it is replaced on a site known as Fleet Grounds in the west of the catchment area.
More children would have to take the bus to school if the land, partly owned by the Ministry of Defence, is chosen for the new school.
And the community councils of Aberdour, Dalgety Bay and Hillend, Inverkeithing and North Queensferry have warned Inverkeithing’s thriving town centre economy would take a hit and the future of community facilities attached to the school, including the only local swimming pool, would be at threat.
Plea to councillors
A joint letter to members of Fife Council’s education and children’s services committee – who will be asked to make Fleet Grounds the preferred location on Tuesday – has been endorsed by the parent councils of Inverkeithing, Aberdour, Dalgety Bay, North Queensferry and Donibristle primary schools and several other community groups.
They claim the recommendation of the Rosyth site, where it would cost £85.2 million to buy the land and build the school compared to £91m for the other shortlisted site north of the A921 in Inverkeithing, was driven by cost alone but was a “false economy”.
They state: “We appeal to councillors to make a decision in favour of the Inverkeithing site and not to be tempted by the false economy of saving narrow margins at the expense of established community assets and economies.”
The financial, environmental and health cost of more pupils being entitled to school transport should be reason enough to question the ‘short-term saving’, they say.
The letter says: “As it stands, of the three major towns in the catchment, the majority of those living in Rosyth, Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay have an available walking route to the school and would to a site to the north of the A921.
“In contrast to this, locating a school to the western margins of Rosyth would remove the ability of those living in Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay to walk or cycle to school.”
For Aberdour, which is furthest from Rosyth in the east of the catchment area, they warn of increased travel times and a risk to established community links.
A report by Fife Council’s education and children’s services says the initial increase in pupil transport entitlement will decrease in time, but the community council claim the demographic assumption is flawed.
It says both sites are capable of delivering a new school for up to 2,000 pupils but “based on construction costs” the Rosyth site “offers the best value location for the replacement of the Inverkeithing HS buildings”.