Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, has today raised concerns at proposed changes to the catchment area for Harris Academy in Dundee.
The changes would mean that pupils from Invergowrie Primary School, which falls within the boundaries of Perth and Kinross Council and Mr Swinney’s constituency, would no longer automatically be offered a place at Harris Academy, which is situated 2 miles from Invergowrie. As a result, the nearest high school would be Perth Academy, located over 20 miles away.
Commenting, Mr Swinney said:
“I am concerned by these proposals, and about the negative impact they will have on pupils and families based in Invergowrie.
“Historically, Invergowrie pupils have attended Harris Academy. This is a sensible arrangement that recognises the unique circumstances that Invergowrie pupils face regarding access to secondary education.
“As a result of this tradition, and the village’s geographical location, pupils from Invergowrie have formed close ties to Dundee and to Harris Academy specifically. I am concerned therefore that the proposed change to the catchment area will cause significant unrest and worry to parents and pupils alike.
“Indeed, the current proposals will lead to a situation where older siblings are enrolled in Harris Academy but their brothers and sisters will be forced to undertake a daily 40 mile round trip to Perth. It is difficult to see how such an arrangement will benefit families in Invergowrie.
“I have already spoken to several constituents regarding this situation, but I am keen to hear from as many voices as possible. I would therefore ask that any parents who are concerned by these proposals make contact with me directly. I will also be looking to arrange a meeting with parents at the earliest possible convenience.
“I have already spoken to Cllr John Alexander, Leader of Dundee City Council, to raise my concerns and I will have further discussions with the City Council to pursue the concerns of my constituents.”
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