An Invergowrie councillor has seven minutes to try and persuade Dundee City Council to change their policy on excluding secondary pupils from the village going to Harris Academy.
Controversial boundary changes provoked fury from Invergowrie parents after they learned the proposals would end any chances of their secondary kids from attending Harris Academy.
As things stand, school pupils living in Invergowrie, which is part of Perth and Kinross Council rather than Dundee City, would have a choice between Harris Academy and Perth High.
But under the new plans set out last week by council leader John Alexander, Harris Academy’s feeder primary schools would be realigned as part of a change in catchment areas.
That would mean Invergowrie pupils would not be automatically eligible for a place at Harris Academy and they would have to travel to Perth Academy instead – more than 20 miles away.
But now Invergowrie Conservative councillor, Angus Forbes, will break council boundaries himself after clinching a slot at Dundee City Council’s education committee meeting on Monday, January 27 to put forward protests by his constituents in a bid to change their plans.
He said: “Although I represent my constituents at Perth and Kinross Council, I have managed to get onto the deputation council and speak at the committee meeting of Dundee City Council on Monday night.
“So I will be trying to persuade them to make an amendment and I will have seven minutes to do that.
“We do deputation council representation at Perth and Kinross and it is fairly normal, but what is slightly unusual is to have that from a neighbouring council.
“I am also trying to persuade a representative of Invergowrie Parents Council to come along.
“I cannot say I am entirely surprised (about the move) because people have been talking about it for a good number of years.
“It is a difficult issue for parents and their concern is getting to Perth Academy with an extra 25 minutes travel time on the bus.
“I have two questions to ask Dundee City Council and the first is to ask them to change their proposal for Invergowrie and secondly what would happen with siblings already at Harris? I know they could put in a placing request
“I was quite pleased to see John Swinney put out a tweet on Friday night in support of Invergowrie constituents given that he is the Education Secretary.”
Courtney McGregor, who has children at Invergowrie Primary School and Harris Academy said: “Why after all these years does it have to change now?
“Why close a school (Menzieshill High) and expand the catchment area only to remove our community.
“It is the closest school for our children to attend, and an area they know.
“Harris has facilitated Invergowrie children for years and should continue to do so.
“Before the council decided to close Menzieshill they should have considered the knock on effect to Harris academy.”
During Mr Alexander’s briefing last week, it was also revealed that Craigie High and Braeview Academy could merge and be housed in a new super campus.
The views of parents will also be sought on that proposal when the consultation period begins on February 10.
Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “At committee next Monday all we are seeking to do is go out and consult on the proposal. If this is agreed parents will be able to take part in the consultation and have their views heard.
“With regards to children going to different schools, should this proposal be approved then Invergowrie pupils who have a sibling at Harris will be given a place at Harris.”