Cairn school reprieve

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Cairn Primary School in Maybole has been given a reprieve after a special meeting of the South Ayrshire Council's leadership panel on Tuesday morning.

The panel decided not to continue with consultation on the closure of Cairn and a planned merger with Gardenrose primary, also in Maybole, and instead to conduct a wider consultation on education provision for the whole of North Carrick.

Parents and community leaders in Maybole will be overjoyed at the decision.

Several councillors brought the original decision to close the school to the council's scrutiny panel last week and it was decided to refer the case back to the leadership panel and reconsider the decision to close the Maybole school.

Councillors raised questions about the closure relating to: staff transfers, accommodation of P7 pupils at Carrick Academy, traffic concerns, the dining hall at Cairn, staffing levels, open plan education, portacabins, visitation to sister schools, class sizes and nursery provision.

Last week at the scrutiny panel, Councillor Low had asked for an explanation on the level of education provision of Gardenrose and Carrick Schools, with particular reference to the Curriculum of Excellence.

The response read: "The Head of Service and school management advised that the integration of Cairn into Gardenrose would have no detrimental effect on the education of children attending, staffing levels would be consistent with National and Council policies and quality assurance systems would be maintained.

"If P7 classes were accommodated within the Carrick Academy building, there would be clear opportunities for curricular progression and enhancement through joint planning with the primary and secondary staff.

"There would also be a number of management issues, but these were not viewed as insurmountable."