The Scottish Government confirmed yesterday that it is to “call in” the decision by Fife Council to close Pitcorthie Primary School in Dunfermline for closer examination. This decision is the latest in a series of decisions that have been called in, with respect to proposed school closures in Fife. It is an unusual step for the Scottish Government to intervene directly in school closure situations and for them to have felt that the situation warranted Ministerial intervention three times so far this year must be an embarrassment for the Council’s leadership.
Serious doubts have been raised by the local community over the perceived benefits of closing the school and transferring pupils, as opposed to keeping it open. It appears that the Scottish Government is taking these concerns seriously. In their letter to Fife Council they state:
“Ministers are of the view that there is evidence to contend that the Council (i) may not have sufficiently described what educational benefits would be gained by pupils at Pitcorthie Primary School and (ii) some of the proposed benefits may come from inaccurate information to support the case for closure.”
Local Councillor, Brian Goodall (SNP) commented:
“Well done to everyone who sent in requests for this call-in and thank you to everyone who has been backing the campaign to save the school for so long. Unfortunately the Minister can only legally overturn the Council’s closure decision on a limited number of criteria, but I’m hopeful that the strength of our case can still win the day.”
The letter from the Scottish Government to Fife Council with regard to this decision can read in full by following the link below: