Parents fight school plan to cut out a class – and their children

A GROUP of parents will today take legal action against a council over a decision to reduce the number of classes at a primary school in Edinburgh.

A writ will be served at the city's sheriff court against Edinburgh City Council over next year's intake of Roseburn Primary's youngest pupils.

Roseburn Primary will reduce the number of Primary 1 classes from the expected two to just one.

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Now three sets of parents are fighting to force the council to reinstate the second class.

They believe the issues they are taking legal action over are mirrored by cuts in teacher numbers and larger class sizes across the city.

The three parents have children who live just outside the school's catchment area, but all currently attend the nursery at Roseburn. They do not want their children to be separated from their friends.

However, the council argues it is acting within the appropriate legislation.

Landscaper David Simpson, 34, lives just half a street out of the Roseburn catchment and said he would "try anything" if it would help to get his four-year-old daughter Carolina, into the school.

He said: "We're just devastated by this. This is my child's education, so I have got nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking this to court."

Amy Bonner, 27, a medical receptionist, has been refused a place for her son Andrew, five.

And Nick Rae, 38, hopes to get a place for his five-year-old, Megan Rae.

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Roseburn Primary – which is located in Roseburn Street near Murrayfield rugby stadium – currently has nine classes due to be reduced to eight in the next school year.

A "fighting fund" has been set up by other parents at the school to cover legal costs of taking the court action.

The parents argue that the school currently has enough teachers to run two P1 classes, and parents made their application several months ago based on this.

The law states that local authorities have to accept all non-catchment children who apply should schools have enough space in the class, as long as they do not have to employ another teacher to accommodate them.

The group lost their case at an appeals committee earlier this month.

A spokesman for the City of Edinburgh Council said: "The council manages the school placements process in line with current legislation.

"We cannot comment specifically on the details of individual appeals or legal cases."

The school, started in 1894, currently has 260 pupils, and includes an on-site nursery.