Maddiston Primary classrooms swamped ‘because of housing surge’

Councillor Adanna McCue.
Councillor Adanna McCue.

A previous Labour-run Falkirk Council is being blamed for a housing surge which has seen space at Maddiston Primary outstripped by demand.

Portakabin units understood to host no less than eight temporary classrooms have been installed ahead of the new term, fuelling local concern about the school’s future.

Reader Lionel McMillan said: “When are the council officials in charge of house planning at Falkirk Council going to get the message - there is no more space left at Maddiston primary school for any more portakabins.

“All planning for new homes should be cancelled in the Maddiston school catchment area until there is a new school built, preferably where the now empty fire brigade HQ is”.

However SNP councillor Adanna McCue (Lower Braes), who has the council’s SNP portfolio for education, blames the over-capacity problem squarely on planning decisions taken under the former Labour-led regime.

She said: “Due to the previous administration’s decision to grant planning permission for hundreds of new private sector house buildings we have experienced a large rise in population in the Maddiston area, putting extreme pressure on Maddiston Primary school capacity.

“It was a previous SNP Administration that built the current Maddiston Primary School, and so parents will appreciate our sense of frustration watching temporary Portakabins being wheeled into the school grounds - as we appreciate parents frustration at this disruption.

“This administration is well aware of this pressure on the local primary school, and we support the council’s agreed capital programme to extend the Primary School”.

She added: “The modular classrooms have been put in place temporarily to extend the capacity of the school, which will create stability for children and school staff as we continue in our commitment to the highest levels of education.

“We will continue to work with staff to deliver this pledge, with as little disruption to the pupils as possible”.

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: “There are currently four modular units on site, with each one providing a number of different temporary roles for the school and nursery.

“We already have an extension planned for the school and this is expected to be completed by 2021.

“We have no further plans for any additional units to be installed.”