Bishopton Primary School update

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Bishopton Update

Dear parent or carer,

I am writing with an update for you on the work we are doing to manage current and future school capacity in the Dargavel and Bishopton areas. 

As you are aware, the expected growth of the new housing development at Dargavel over the years ahead has created some challenges around primary school capacity. We now know this will have an impact on Bishopton Primary, and I can set out below what this will mean for you. 

Current primary school capacity

The current Dargavel Primary will not be able to accommodate the number of pupils expected as the development grows in the years ahead. We will install six new modular classrooms at Dargavel Primary this summer, which will ensure enough capacity for the 2023 intake. 

However, the school cannot be expanded beyond that, which means it is likely it will not have capacity for every pupil starting Primary 1 from August 2024 onwards. As a result, we estimate we will have to limit the Primary 1 intake to 75 pupils a year from then on. 

Should Dargavel Primary be oversubscribed, we will apply our admissions policy, which will give priority to children with siblings already in the school, and those who would have difficulty being educated elsewhere for medical reasons. 

If still oversubscribed at this point, a ballot will be held. Any pupil who does not get a place at Dargavel will be directed to the nearest alternative school, which is Bishopton Primary. Bishopton currently has capacity and will have more over the next few years, as more pupils are due to leave Primary 7 than are projected to start Primary 1. 

We will work with Bishopton Primary staff and pupil council to manage any impact but are confident the additional pupils will be smoothly integrated into Bishopton Primary. Unlike the period in 2021 to 2022 when the opening of Dargavel Primary was delayed, the additional pupils will be part of Bishopton Primary, rather than Dargavel Primary pupils co-located in another school. 

New primary school in Dargavel

We would stress this arrangement will only last as long as it takes us to put in place the long-term solution, which is to build a second primary school in the Dargavel area. We expect Bishopton will be asked to take additional pupils for the 2024, 2025 and (if required) 2026 school years. 

We remain in discussion with the landowner (BAE) over which site within Dargavel would be best used for the new school. Once agreed, we will start the process of reviewing the catchment areas for the three schools (Bishopton, and the existing and new Dargavel Primaries). A public consultation will be held as part of this review. 

Our analysis shows the denominational primary school (St John Bosco) for the Dargavel area will continue to have enough capacity as the development grows in the future. 

Park Mains High School

Park Mains High School continues to operate well, with modular classrooms due to be installed during the next school year to provide some extra flexibility for the school. However, we know the roll will rise in future as pupils move through from primary school. 

The existing building was designed to be extended if ever needed, and there is space in the school grounds to accommodate this. We are proposing to start work now to plan a permanent extension for 400 pupils, which will take the total capacity to around 2,000. 

Our projections for Park Mains are based on a range of data, including the numbers of pupils currently in the feeder primaries and nurseries. Over the years ahead we will continue to monitor our projections against this data as it evolves, and adjust our plans if needed.

Ongoing engagement

We will continue to keep you updated as our plans move forward. If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact us at:

Kind regards  

Steven Quinn  

Director of Children’s Services, Renfrewshire Council