Temporary closure of Banavie special needs class mooted

A council has recommended that a class for pupils with severe or profound disabilities be closed temporarily and not permanently as planned.

The special class at Banavie Primary in Lochaber has taken children from a wide area, with some making a 50-mile round trip to go to and from the school.

From August it will have no children after its most recent pupils moved up to Lochaber High School.

Following consultation, Highland Council has rejected closing the class.

Its new recommendation will be considered by the local authority’s education culture and sport committee on 9 August.

In decline

The consultation report recommends that, until appropriate facilities are available in new primary schools to be built in Fort William and Caol within the next two to four years, the additional support needs facility should be remain available.

The report said the permanent closure of the class would be proposed once the new schools were opened.

Five letters were sent to Highland Council during the public consultation on the original plan.

They included responses from the parents and grandparents of a child who would start at the class in 2013.

Previously, Highland Council said accommodation for the class was cramped and its roll had been in decline.