£10m plan for new secondary school

There are plans for the building
There are plans for the building
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Ambitious plans to build a state-of-the-art secondary school for special needs pupils have been unveiled.

Education chiefs at Falkirk Council are bidding for £5 million from a Scottish Government initiative.

If successful, the cash would foot half the bill for constructing a new Carrongrange School – and allow Larbert High to take over the existing building to ease its capacity issues.

The move would see a single-storey school built for up to 185 pupils with moderate, severe and complex additional support needs.

Currently, 160 pupils are being taught in the building which is on the same campus as the high school, although it has its own entrance and outdoor areas.

Last year, Larbert High took over two of the Carrongrange upper floor classrooms reducing its capacity by 30 to 220 in a bid to ease issues caused by its ever-growing roll.

Latest figures show that Larbert has an “extremely high” occupancy rate of 92 per cent with 1730 pupils.

The council’s outline business case for the new school highlights Falkirk’s fast-growing population which is putting considerable pressure on schools.

Andrew Sutherland, director of education, said: “A new smaller, single-storey school would provide a better facility and learning environment for existing and future pupils with severe/complex additional support needs and allow better use to be made of the existing surplus capacity within the school.”

This is the third phase of funding bids for the Government’s Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme. In the initial phase, Falkirk was one of the first councils to receive funding towards its new St Bernadette’s Primary in Antonshill which is due to open later this month.

Submissions for the latest tranche had to be in by last month and successful local authorities will be notified in September.

Councillor Craig Martin, council leader, said: “This is early days but hopefully we will be fortunate and get the support to take this forward.

“We have already talked to both headteachers and the parent councils and all parties have been supportive and excited about the prospect.”