A Moray councillor claims that parents’ objections to establishing a new school within an existing Elgin primary are unjustified.
Earlier this week a group of parents from East End Primary School angrily protested plans to teach youngsters bound for a new school in its classrooms while they wait for their building to be built.
The plan to create a new school is part of council plans to combat overcrowding at Elgin’s existing primaries.
The new school is expected to open in 2018 and the council proposes that, until that time, its pupils will be taught in recently vacated space at East End.
However, parents say the proposal will cause logistical headaches and hamper their children’s school experience, and they are urging the council to incorporate the incoming pupils into its school roll instead.
During a heated public consultation event on Wednesday, the campaigners outlined their grievances to council education chiefs.
Yesterday, Forres councillor George Alexander, who is vice-chairman of the children and young people’s services committee, described the concerns raised by those parents as “entirely unfounded” and said he was “surprised and disappointed” the plans had encountered such a hostile reception.
Mr Alexander said: “To my mind, the proposal to accommodate the new school in a building which is currently lying vacant, and only on a temporary basis for two years, makes perfect sense all round.
“The first Primary 1 intake in August would be joined by a new Primary 1 the following year, and they would all be getting to know one another by the time they move into their new permanent building.
“From an educational and a social viewpoint, that is surely ideal and provides continuity.
“From what I heard, there was not a single argument put forward by any of the parents which was cogent or persuasive.”
Mr Alexander also dismissed claims the East End building could not cope with an influx of pupils.
Unhappy parents have claimed his comments indicate that the council has “made up its mind” on how to progress its plans prior to consultation concluding.