Dargavel nursery and schools update

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Dargavel Update

Dear parent or carer,

I am writing with our latest update for you on the work we are doing to manage current and future school capacity in the Dargavel area, and on how this will affect the children currently in local nurseries in the years ahead. 

Nursery capacity

Work is under way to expand capacity at Dargavel ELCC. This will take total capacity to 96 children and is expected to be complete later this year. Due to the flexible nature of nursery provision, we are confident there will be enough early-years capacity in the area in the years ahead. 

Capacity at the existing Dargavel Primary

As you will likely be aware, the existing Dargavel Primary School will not be able to accommodate the number of pupils expected as the development grows in the years ahead. 

We will install three new modular buildings (providing six additional classrooms in total) at Dargavel Primary this summer. This will create enough capacity for every child registered for the 2023/24 school year. It will not be possible to expand capacity beyond what is described above, given the size of the school site, and the need to keep suitable outdoor space for pupils. 

This means it is likely the school 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, for the 2024, 2025 and (if required) 2026 school years. 

Should the school be oversubscribed, we will apply our admissions policy, which sets out the fairest way to decide how school places are allocated. This means priority will be given (in order) to: 

  • Pupils who already have siblings in the school 
  • Pupils who, for medical reasons, would have difficulty being educated elsewhere.  

If still oversubscribed at this point, a ballot will be held. We will provide more information on the arrangements for this as soon as we can. We will not have a definitive figure for the August 2024 intake until after Primary 1 registration takes place in November this year. We expect any ballot would take place in January. 

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. 

New primary school in Dargavel

The long-term solution is to build a second primary school in the Dargavel area. Having carefully considered our long-term projections, we are now planning for it to accommodate 800 pupils, and that work is under way. This number will allow us to build in flexibility around future pupils rolls, while maintaining a high-quality learning environment. 

We remain in discussion with the landowner (BAE) over which site within Dargavel would be best used for the new school. Once that is agreed, we will start the process of reviewing the catchment areas for the existing and new schools. 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 are continuing to work closely with the various local parent councils to plan next steps, and I’d like to thank them for their input. 

We will continue to keep you updated as our plans move forward. If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact us via our dedicated email address: dargavelcs@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Kind regards  

Steven Quinn  

Director of Children’s Services, Renfrewshire Council