Public consultation on new high school finally launched

Monday February 19th 2024

Beeslack High School Consultation

New Beeslack High School will be off Bush Farm Road at Easter Bush.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Plans to relocated a community high school to new £120 million facilities have been put out for public consultation nearly two years after the new site was confirmed.

Midlothian Council is asking for views on its plans to move Beeslack Community High School from its current Penicuik location to Easter Bush.

And they are being given the chance to voice their opinions on changes to catchment areas which will see the new high school, due to open in August 2026, changed to include two additional primary schools and remove a third.

The new high school which the council says will be a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre of Excellence has been hit by delays after the council had to increase its original capacity from 1200 pupils to 1600 pupils after delays during lockdown.

It will include a dedicated learning space for children with Additional Support Needs (ASN) and be built to energy-efficient Passivhaus standards meaning it will have very low carbon emissions, helping the council towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

However a report last summer to councillors sparked some concerns after the initial cost of £60 million for the new school was revealed to have doubled.

The council’s own officers asked elected members to consider dropping plans for the school to have its own swimming pool, sports pavilion and community facilities as well as the pledge to use Passivhaus ‘green’ standards to cut the costs.

Councillors refused to accept the recommendations with council leader Kelly Parry insisting the new school will be a “fantastic asset for all of Midlothian”.

The public consultation went live on the local authority’s website today and runs until April 16. The council is also holding a public meeting in the current school on March 20.

Full details of the consultation, virtual drop in events and the changes to catchment areas are available on the council website

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