Falkirk schools are passing the test

Denny High School
Denny High School

Falkirk’s schools are in excellent shape, according to a new report.

A recent review of the school estate reveals just under half of the council’s 63 educational buildings are in a good condition.

Forty per cent received a satisfactory banding, while just seven were classed as poor.

In a report presented to the Education Executive on Tuesday, councillors heard from joint acting director of education Gary Greenhorn who said ratings had been based on the schools’ condition, suitability and capacity and were “very subjective”.

Education spokesman Councillor Alan Nimmo said: “On the whole, we have a school estate to be proud of.

“We have four replacement high schools, the new St Bernadette’s and a new Carrongrange School planned for 2016. I think it shows where we stand, but this is also a working document.”

In the past five years, over £142 million has been invested in Falkirk’s schools.

This includes £100 million providing new secondary schools and £6 million in repairs and maintenance.

The School Estate Management Plan is a key strategic document which drives priorities for future investment.

In the latest progress report, schools were assessed by a quantity surveyor and head teacher, placing each on a four-point scale of ‘A’ (good), ‘B’ (satisfactory), ‘C’ (poor) and ‘D’ (bad).

California, Carronshore, Grange, Kinneil, and Limerigg primary school received C ratings, alongside Falkirk Day Unit and the Education Assessment Unit which have now merged.

Despite the small number of C ratings, Councillor Dennis Goldie voiced concerns.

He said: “California and Limerigg have received a C rating, and Carmuirs and Easter Carmuirs in Camelon have received a B.

“I am concerned that there are pockets in the district not getting an A rating.

“It’s a good report and a big spend, but these two areas are jumping out at you.

“It’s a big area with no A ratings.”

Councillors heard discussions had taken place with development services and work had been indentifed which “should” bring the C-rated schools up to at least a B.

Announcing she was happy with the report, Councillor Linda Gow added: “There is not a single D category.”