Anger at plans to reduce Wigtown Primary classroom numbers

Wigtown Primary where the number of classrooms are being reduced as the town is growing
Wigtown Primary where the number of classrooms are being reduced as the town is growing

Parents of children attending Wigtown Primary School have been left scratching their heads in puzzlement over a council decision to cut its number of classrooms just when it is about to need more.

The reduction of classrooms by Dumfries and Galloway Council now faces strong opposition from the school’s Parent Council.

A spokeswoman for the parents explained: “Dumfries and Galloway Council has come forward with plans to reduce Wigtown Primary School to four classrooms, despite presently having five classes using all the existing five classrooms.

“Their plans are to convert two existing classrooms into a nursery and for the school to get the single old nursery classroom in return.

“The roll of the school has been steadily expanding over recent years and this year is more than 100 children (excluding the nursery), resulting in five classes.

“However, the council’s plans will permanently restrict Wigtown Primary to four classes, and as such, cap the school role at 100.

“With houses under construction in Wigtown and planning permission granted by the council for more homes, the school roll is expected to continue to increase. However, with the school being robbed of a classroom, children within the catchment could be restricted from attending the school in the future.”

Parent Council chair Kim Aitchison said “The council are robbing the school to deliver on Government nursery obligations. They are taking a valuable classroom away, which is presently being used and stopping the school from being able to expand in the future.

“Wigtown is a thriving town with the school at the heart of our community and their plans to stifle our school are short-sighted and ill-thought out.

“We all appreciate that the council is under extreme financial pressures, as is evident from the broken windows, play equipment and antiquated plumbing within the school, but this is a step too far.

“Given the significance of these proposed changes on the school, parents and the community should have been consulted. But we have been kept in the dark. The council’s plans must be put on hold to allow a full consultation with all stakeholders to take place.”

The Gazette requested a response from Dumfries and Galloway Council to the parent council points and this was still awaited at time of going to press this week.