South Scotland

Dumfries pupil travel time has 'no impact' on learning

The Bridge Reception Image copyright Dumfries and Galloway Council
Image caption More than 100 students now network to The Bridge facility for their studies

The travel time taken by hundreds of pupils moving between sites for subjects is not having an impact on their education, a council has said.

An £11m learning "hub" opened in Dumfries this year with one of its aims to expand study choice in the town.

More than 150 S4 to S6 pupils use it to network for subjects, while a further 256 go to schools other than their own or Dumfries and Galloway College.

The council said travel time involved was not affecting their education.

The Bridge
Dumfries and Galloway Council
Senior phase study in Dumfries

How many pupils are there and where do they go?

  • 1,182Total S4-S6 pupils

  • 159Networking to The Bridge

  • 126Networking to schools other than their own

  • 130Networking to Dumfries and Galloway College

  • 13Networking to more than one site

Source: Dumfries and Galloway Council

The Bridge facility opened earlier this year - after a delay for safety checks - and is home to a range of facilities for schools, individuals, community groups and clubs.

One of its aims is to allow pupils from each of the town's four secondaries - Dumfries Academy, Dumfries High, St Joseph's College and the North West Community Campus - to study subjects they might not be able to at their own school.

The goal is to ensure "less duplication of resources, consistency in teaching and more effective use of teaching time".

Image copyright Dumfries and Galloway Council
Image caption The £11m facility aims to ensure better use of teaching time and offer more specialist subjects

"This will allow us to build on existing strengths in the town and open up new opportunities by extending the choice of subjects available," the council said.

Figures given to the BBC show there are 1,182 senior-phase pupils across the four schools in the town with 159 of them - about 13% - attending The Bridge for some of their studies.

More than 250 network to a school other than their own or Dumfries and Galloway College.

A small number - 13 in total - have to travel to more than one location for different subjects.

Image copyright Dumfries and Galloway Council
Image caption The council said student use of the new building was expected to rise

The council said figures for usage of The Bridge were in line with expectations and were expected to rise.

It added that it was happy that the amount of time taken by pupils to travel between sites was not having an impact on their education.

It said two minibuses had been put in place to transport pupils, while those within easy walking distance could "walk or cycle".

"A sustainable transport and travel model will be encouraged," a spokesman added.