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Elgin parents issue emotional plea not to separate their children in school plans

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Parents have issued passionate pleas for Moray Council not to separate siblings as part of plans to tackle overcrowding in Elgin’s primary schools.

Education bosses are consulting the public on plans for a new school in the south of the town – but while it is being built, officers recommend children be funnelled into temporary classrooms at East End Primary School.

Parents at East End have lashed out at the proposals, saying the move will create logistical headaches for the school.

But yesterday, parents at New Elgin primary school said the disputed move was crucial in allowing siblings to go to the same school.

New Elgin is the town’s busiest primary school, and its population is expected to balloon well beyond its capacity under current guidelines.

The bulk of children zoned for the new school would previously have been affiliated with New Elgin.

One mum said her four-year-old son is desperate to begin lessons at New Elgin this summer, where his eight-year-old brother attends.

But she argued the only way that would be possible is if children zoned for the new school are sent to the temporary base at East End while construction is underway.

She said: “My youngest boy has always expected to attend school with his brother, but now I’m trying to avoid answering questions about it because I don’t know that will happen.

“It’s an emotional issue for us.

“Parents with younger children wanting to attend New Elgin with their siblings need the new school to go ahead in temporary space at East End this summer.

“I wouldn’t know how to explain to our youngest that he can’t go to school with his brother.”

Moray Council’s senior education advisor, Paul Watson, said: “Our proposal is designed to mitigate against the possibility of siblings being separated.

“We can’t give a guarantee, but it would help the chances of siblings being placed together at New Elgin if we were able to set up a base at East End.”

After learning the town’s primary schools were looming towards a capacity crisis last year, Moray Council rezoned each catchment area and formed plans to create a new building.

Early plans indicate the new school will share a patch of land near the Linkwood distillery with the new Moray Sports Centre complex.

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