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Could Croy Primary School close down?

By Federica Stefani

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Croy Primary School could close and its school roll incorporated to the new school planned for Tornagrain. Picture: James Mackenzie
Croy Primary School could close and its school roll incorporated to the new school planned for Tornagrain. Picture: James Mackenzie

A Croy school could be closed and its school roll incorporated into plans for the new school at Tornagrain.

Highland Council are running an informal consultation to evaluate future options for Croy Pimary and the new school in the new-built community – which has been agreed as part of the revised council capital plan for the next five years.

The preliminary consultation is seeking public views on two main options – one which sees the village school closing up and a revised plan for the new Tornagrain primary school to incorporate students from Croy, and the other seeking to retain the existing school alongside what will become Tornagrain's first primary school.

Although in October 2023 it was revealed that bids for Scottish Government funding to go towards new schools in the Highlands had been rejected, is it is believed the new build school at Tornagrain will go ahead through developer contributions – however it won't be operational before 2030.

The options were first presented by the council at an informal meeting in Croy in December 2023 – including various options relating to future catchment areas.

Councillor Trish Robertson is against the option of closing Croy Primary. Picture: James Mackenzie
Councillor Trish Robertson is against the option of closing Croy Primary. Picture: James Mackenzie

Highland Councillor for the area, Trish Robertson, said that although this is an initial gathering of ideas, closing the school would be "losing the heart of the village."

She said: "I am not in support of closing Croy primary school because the build is extensive. That capacity will be needed in the short term at Croy.

"We are looking at 5000 houses of Tornagrain – they need an independent School, they don't need to be bringing in Croy.

"Croy has had an extension of 121 houses with the provision that they may have an extension – if they put in more houses, they need their own school."

Croy primary currently counts just over 100 pupils – as well as offering pre-school education

There has been a school in Croy since 1872 providing primary and secondary education. It became a primary school in 1972 and the old building was demolished in 1998. The original bell tower was incorporated into the design of the new building which opened in August 1998.

An initial informal meeting presenting the options was held by the council in December 2023.

Croy and Culloden Moor Community Council will hold a consultation tonight (Monday, March 25) at Croy Village Hall between 4pm and 8pm to seek the views of local parents and residents.

Reaching out to the community on a post on their social media channels they said: "We would like to engage with the community and understand your views so we can effectively represent you during upcoming consultations. We want to be able to make sure any concerns are effectively represented and shared with the correct people.

"Changes to the school locations, roads used by parents/pupils, facilities, land used/vacant could impact on all residents, whether you currently use or plan to use the schools, and the opinion of all our community matters.

"We anticipate that it will take no more than 5-10mins to share and capture your views with us. These opinions will be recorded anonymously and used to structure feedback presented during consultation and shared with local councillors.

"It is really important to us that we can represent you and your views."

When asked to comment, they said they would wait for the consultation to be able to present the residents' views and that they need to "remain objective" at this stage.

A spokesperson for The Highland Council said: “The Council held informal meetings in December 2023 with local parents about the best options for future educational provision in Croy and Tornagrain. We also issued an informal survey in January to gather community views, and received a good response.

“We are currently considering the options for Tornagrain Primary School and Croy Primary and whatever proposal comes forward will be subject to a formal consultation process as laid down in the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010. This will provide multiple opportunities for members of the public to have their say. The issue of a formal proposal is likely to be the next stage in the process but this is still some weeks away from being ready to present.”

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