Inveravon Primary School
Update - 06.07.23
Permanent closure of Inveravon Primary School
Moray Council has received notification from Scottish Ministers today (6 July 2023) that it can go ahead with its decision of 24 May 2023 to permanently close Inveravon Primary School.
The school at Ballindalloch has been mothballed since August 2017 after the school roll fell to zero.
Having reviewed the council’s school closure proposal document and consultation report, and all relevant representations, Scottish Ministers consider that the council has fulfilled its obligations in accordance with the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 and may now implement its closure decision.
Education provision at Inveravon Primary School ends with immediate effect and the school’s catchment area will be reassigned permanently to Knockando, Glenlivet and Aberlour primary schools.
Moray Council will work with Ballindalloch Estate and the local community to explore options for both the school building and land.
The ministerial decision letter is published on the Scottish Government website.
Update - May 2023
Notice of the decision by Moray Council to implement the proposal to close Inveravon Primary School and opportunity to make representation to Scottish Ministers
This notice is to advise that Scottish Ministers have been informed by Moray Council of its decision, made on Wednesday 24 May 2023, to implement the proposal to close Inveravon Primary School, and been provided with copies of the Proposal Document and the Consultation Report.
Under the terms of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010, a period of three weeks begins from the date of the Council’s decision during which time any person can make representation to Scottish Ministers either against or to support the closure.
This three-week period extends to and includes Wednesday 14 June 2023.
Making representations to Scottish Ministers
Representations to Scottish Ministers can be submitted by:
The Scottish Government
School Infrastructure Unit
Scottish Ministers’ call in
At the end of the three-week period, the Scottish Ministers then have a further five weeks to decide if there are grounds to call in the closure decision for further investigation.
The grounds on which Scottish Ministers could call in a closure decision are set out in section 17 of the 2010 Act. These are very limited. Call in is permissible only where Ministers consider that the Council may have failed to:
• comply with the requirements imposed on it under the 2010 Act in a significant regard or;
• take proper account of a material consideration relevant to its decision to implement the proposal.
Moray Council cannot implement the closure decision (either in full or in part) until Ministers have reached a final decision on the case.
Scottish Ministers’ decision
Scottish Ministers will write to the Council within the eight-week period to confirm whether they are issuing a call-in notice.
An electronic version of the notification letter will be published on the Scottish Government website at the link below.
Notice of decision by Moray Council to close Inveravon Primary School
On 24 May 2023, Moray Council took the decision to implement the proposal to close Inveravon Primary School and reassign its catchment area to Knockando, Glenlivet and Aberlour primary schools.
This followed consideration of the Report to the Council, the Consultation Report and appendices (available below) advising on the outcome of the statutory consultation carried out in accordance with the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.
The council was satisfied that, having regard to Inveravon Primary School being a rural school, closure is the most appropriate response for the reasons stated in the Proposal Document. These include:
• No children have attended Inveravon Primary School since the end of session 2016/17, when the school was mothballed. The decision to mothball was taken as no pupils were enrolled from Aug 2017.
• No parents have chosen to enrol their children at Inveravon Primary School for the 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22 or 2022/23 sessions. Although the number of primary school children in the Inveravon Primary School catchment totals 15 for the 2022/23 session, those families who have formally indicated their choice (9 in total) do not wish to send their children to Inveravon Primary School as they have settled elsewhere.
• A school roll of fewer than 15 pupils provides significant impediments to the successful implementation of a Curriculum for Excellence and hampers social interaction opportunities for children, who conversely benefit from attending larger schools amongst more children of their own age.
• Prior to launching the statutory element of the consultation, opportunities were made available to all members of the community to either suggest ways to make the school viable again or alternative uses for the building that would benefit the community. There were no suggestions from the engagement and consultation that could be seen as ways of ensuring a viable future school.
• The alternative uses proposed during engagement and consultation will be shared with the Ballindalloch Estate to whom the land ownership, and by inference the building, will transfer in the event of the school closure, for them to consider as future community use options.
• Since 2017 free transport has been provided to those children in the Inveravon Primary School catchment who attend Knockando Primary School. During this same timeframe no transport has been provided to those children in the catchment who attend Aberlour Primary School. The rezoning proposals in both Option 2 and 3 to this closure proposal see free transportation now available to both Aberlour and Glenlivet primary schools within their respective extended catchments. This will immediately benefit children in and around the Marypark area who attend Aberlour Primary School.
A report by Education Scotland addressing educational aspects of the proposal also concluded the proposal will result in educational benefits for the children in catchment. His Majesty’s Inspectors of Education said the proposal provides clarity for both families and for staff in the neighbouring schools that the children have attended since the mothballing of the school. Children now attend schools with larger and more stable pupil rolls and there are clear educational and social benefits to learning alongside peers of similar ages and stages.
Publication of the consultation report
Inveravon Primary School was mothballed in August 2017 after the school roll fell to zero and has remained mothballed since that time.
During February and March 2022, the council’s Learning Estate Team engaged with the local community about the potential closure of the school.
Members of the Education, Children’s and Leisure Services Committee agreed on 24 August 2022 to proceed with statutory consultation on the proposal to discontinue education at Inveravon Primary School and reassign its catchment area to that of either Knockando, Glenlivet or Aberlour primary schools or a combination of these.
The statutory consultation was undertaken in accordance with the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010. It ran from 29 August to 7 October 2022, which covered the required minimum of 30 days term time consultation.
Two public meetings were held 27 September 2022 and one online meeting on 28 September 2022. People were invited to complete an online consultation survey and to make written submissions on the proposal. Pupils in the three neighbouring primary schools were also asked for their views.
Following the statutory consultation period, all documentation on the consultation was sent to Education Scotland for consideration. Education Scotland has produced a report addressing the educational aspects of the proposal and this is published on its own website.
The next stage of the consultation process is the publication of the council report on the findings and outcome of the statutory consultation, having regard to the relevant written and oral representations and submissions, pupil engagement, survey results and the Education Scotland report.
The documents below are the appendices to the main report.
- Closure of Inveravon Primary School Consultation Proposal
- Options appraisal
- Public engagement comments/suggestions
- Financial template
- Public meeting record – Inveravon Church (27 September 2022)
- Public meeting record – Speyside High School (27 September 2022)
- Public meeting record – virtual (28 September 2022)
- Parental feedback
- Pupil engagement
- Online survey responses
- Online survey summary report
- Education Scotland report
- Map 1 - Inveravon Primary School merged with Knockando Primary School
- Map 2 - Inveravon Primary School merged with Knockando Primary School and Aberlour Primary School
- Map 3 - Inveravon Primary School merged with Knockando Primary School, Aberlour Primary School and Glenlivet Primary School
The consultation report is published from Wednesday 12 April 2023. It will be submitted to the Education, Children’s and Leisure Services Committee on 19 April 2023 for recommendation, then to the meeting of Moray Council on 24 May 2023 to reach a decision.
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