South Scotland

New Dumfries school roll capping model developed

Learning hub Image copyright Dumfries and Galloway Council
Image caption A new learning "hub" is part of plans for education in Dumfries

A new system is being developed to assess future pupil intake capping levels during a major overhaul of education in Dumfries.

All four secondary schools in the town are being rebuilt or refurbished as part of the Learning Town scheme.

It will cut the capacity at all the sites to "reflect demographics".

Dumfries and Galloway Council said it could not speculate on what might happen if the number of pupils seeking places exceeded the limits at a school.

A report earlier this year outlined proposed S1 intake capping levels at Dumfries Academy, Dumfries High School, Maxwelltown High School and St Joseph's College.

All the schools are being rebuilt or upgraded and a new "learning hub" with room for more than 300 students is also being built.

Dumfries school capacities
School Current capacity Students in 2016/17 Post works capacity
Dumfries Academy 943 611 730
Dumfries High School 1,126 764 810
Maxwelltown High School 650 307 490
St Joseph's College 765 722 730
Total capacity 3,484 2,404 2,760

At present, the capacity of the secondary schools exceeds the number of pupils by more than 1,000.

However, proposed caps on intake would be below the 20-year average at two sites and close to the average at another.

The council said it was working on a new modelling tool to help inform future capping levels which should be ready for use in 2017/18.

It said the picture for August next year should become clearer at the start of the new year when placement requests were confirmed.

Proposed S1 student intake from August 2017
School Proposed maximum S1 intake Average S1 intake 1996-2015
Dumfries Academy 130 137
Dumfries High School 140 173
Maxwelltown High School 90 66
St Joseph's College 130 127

"We cannot speculate on the limits," a statement said.

"We can work with data but are always aware that other factors such as parental choice may impact."

It said that new capping numbers for the secondary schools and the hub reflected the need to reduce the school estate by approximately 1,000 pupils.

"The numbers for the Academy and High School are to accommodate the change to the new campus figures that are reflective of numbers across the town," it added.

"This is also the case for St Joseph's College, here we are reducing the size of the building but increasing the efficiency therefore we can continue to accommodate similar numbers."

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