Alternative schools found for all 1,400 pupils displaced by Fife fire

Pupils who have been forced to study at home this week after their Dunfermline secondary was gutted by fire are to resume their classes at venues across Fife, council officials said yesterday.

Emergency services battle the fire at  at Woodmill High School in Dunfermline. Picture: @Euans_EP/PA Wire
Emergency services battle the fire at at Woodmill High School in Dunfermline. Picture: @Euans_EP/PA Wire

Some 1,390 children who attend Woodmill High, which was extensively damaged on Sunday, will be spread across four high schools and one primary, with others moving to Fife College and a conference centre.

Work began yesterday to demolish sections of Woodmill that suffered the worst damage, and it is expected the interim arrangements will be in place until at least the end of the year.

As part of the plans, which will see the pupils banded in year groups, children in S1 will move next week to the Vine Conference Centre in Dunfermline, described by the local authority as an “excellent environment”.

Pupils in S2 will resume their studies in a dedicated space in Queen Anne High, also in Dunfermline, while a dedicated space has also been made available for S3 at Beath High, five miles away in Cowdenbeath.

S4 pupils will move four miles south to Invekeithing High, with S5 set to attend Fife College in Dunfermline. Children in S6 will be moved to St Columba’s High, near Woodmill.

Pupils who attended Woodmill’s department of additional support, which was worst hit by the fire, have been allocated exclusive use of Blairhall Primary, seven miles west of Woodhill. They will go back to classes a week on Monday, with a full programme of activities in place to support their transition.

Woodmill’s headteacher, Sandy McIntosh, said: “This has been such a difficult week for everyone involved. Under the circumstances, I’m so pleased that we’re now able to offer solutions for all our young people.

“Given what we’ve all just been through, it’s excellent news for our families that all the schools and venues hosting our pupils are in the local area.

“Our hosts have been so supportive and are looking forward to welcoming our pupils next week, along with the teachers from Woodmill.

He added that Woodmill staff would be working with pupils at each site and that transport arrangements were being “put in place”.

Further information sessions are due to take place next week to keep pupils and families informed on the logistics of the move.

Carrie Lindsay, the council’s executive director for education, said she was “really pleased” to be able to give 
families and teaching staff a plan.

She added: “I can’t thank everyone enough for the enormous efforts that have gone in to setting up these solutions to support the Woodmill community.”

Where will the pupils go?

S1 pupils will be housed in the Vine Conference Centre in Dunfermline from Tuesday 3 September.

S2 pupils will be moving to dedicated space in Queen Anne High School in Dunfermline and will be able to start on Friday 6 September.

S3 pupils will be moving to dedicated space in Beath High School from Thursday 5 September

S4 pupils will be moving to dedicated space in Inverkeithing High School from Wednesday 4 September

S5 pupils are starting at Fife College on Monday

S6 pupils are starting at St Columba’s RC High School on Monday

Pupils taught in the department of DAS will be moved to a primary school building