£29 million for school that’s fit for the future

Queensferry High School
Queensferry High School
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Queensferry could be in line to have a new £29 million state-of-the-art secondary school by 2018.

The city council is putting it forward for government funding as part of the ‘Schools for the Future Programme’.

The secondary school, which currently caters for over 750 pupils from Queensferry, Kirkliston and Dalmeny, opened in 1970.

Now, 44 years on and with an ever-rising school roll, it needs to expand.

To receive the government funding, school buildings had to show major defects or ­serious risk of failure to be considered for a cash injection from the £1 billion pot.

And of all the city council’s educational facilities, Queensferry High School and the Wester Hailes Education Centre were highlighted as the two in most need of attention.

Queensferry was chosen due as it has a capacity for 1000 pupils, with 751 pupils on this year’s roll. But projected figures over the next 10 years estimate that this will increase to more than 1000 pupils.

The estimated costs for delivering the new school is £29,809,900. It is hoped the project would receive more than £18 million of government funding, leaving a funding gap of around £11 million which would then have to be filled by the council using various capital grants.

Some cynics may say that the decision to propose Queensferry High for rebuild co-incided timely with the city council’s proposals to develop a further 1500 homes in the Queensferry area through its Local Development Plan 2.

However, the two are not connected as the cash funding for schools is from the Scottish Government’s education budget.

John Wood, head teacher at Queensferry High School, welcomed the proposals.

He said: “I am delighted to hear that the City of Edinburgh Council is considering a proposal that Queensferry High be proposed for replacement under the Government’s ‘Scotland’s Schools for the Future Programme’.

“Whilst this proposal is at the early stages and no guarantees have been made, if we were successful then it would seem a new school could be completed by 2018.

“News of a potential new build is very welcome and would make a huge difference to the future of the school and the community.”

And Almond councillor Norman Work said: ‘‘Will the school be built on the existing playing fields or will it be built on another site? These are important questions.

“But what is even more important is that the council has recognised that a new high school needs to be built and it is taking the first steps to secure funding.”