Highlands & Islands

Bishop and parents oppose Lochaber Catholic school plan

Pencil and letters on paper
Image caption Views were sought on a range of school merger and closure proposals

Catholic parents in Lochaber have been angered at proposals to merge two church schools on a joint campus with a non-religious primary.

Highland Council has suggested combining Lochyside and Fort William RC schools on the same site as a new Caol primary.

Other opponents to the plan include the Right Reverend Joseph Toal, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles.

The views on the £12m project are among those made public by Highland Council.

The authority has been looking at the future of buildings in Lochaber, Wester Ross, Ardnamurchan and Skye.

Comments and opinions were gathered during statutory consultations and will be put on public display for three weeks from Wednesday.

Highland Council's education, culture and sport committee will consider the views at a meeting on 5 August.

People can examine the details of each of the consultations by going to Highland Council's website and going to its special section.

No pupils

In his written submission, the bishop of Argyll and the Isles said he would support the continuation of free standing Catholic schools.

Lochyside Parent Council said it would vehemently oppose a joint campus.

In Lochaber it has also been proposed amalgamating Fort William Primary School and Upper Achintore Primary School in a new building.

Formally closing a number of mothballed schools and primaries with declining school rolls have also been mooted.

Borrodale on Skye, Achaphuibil near Fort William, Achnasheen in Wester Ross and Glenborrodale in Ardnamurchan have been shut for some time.

Glenborrodale has had no pupils for the last nine years.

Uig Primary on Skye, meanwhile, will have just one pupil on its roll by August but the plan is to mothball it rather than shut it permanently.

Members of the public who want to comment on the consultation reports can either e-mail ecsadmin@highland.gov.uk or write to Ron MacKenzie, Head of Support Services, Education Culture & Sport, The Highland Council, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness IV3 5NX.

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