Falkirk Council to discuss plans to ‘mothball’ primaries with low pupil numbers

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Plans will be discussed today (Tuesday) to temporarily close or “mothball” primary schools which have less than ten pupils in attendance.

The children’s services proposals will be looked at during Falkirk Council’s education executive when members will be asked to consider mothballing schools where the school roll is below this figure.

An assessment will then be carried out to ascertain whether the school roll looks likely to increase above ten over the next two years. If not, then the school will be temporarily closed.

If a school falls into this category then the director of children’s services will arrange to consult with affected parents, parent councils and others to discuss the position with them.

The report states if a school is mothballed, the pupils will transfer to their alternative catchment school and additional resources will be given to the alternative catchment school in line with the schools’ per-capita formula and normal class configuration assessments.

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The mothballed primary schools will be maintained on a “wind and watertight” basis pending their future outcome.

According to the Scottish Government, mothballing – rather than closing – a school leaves the opportunity for it to reopen should circumstances change.

No schools appear to be earmarked for mothballing in the Falkirk Council area at this time and all a council spokesperson could confirm was the report will be considered and discussed next week.