£20,000 a year to bus children to overflow classes

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AN overcrowded Scots school is forking out 20,000 a year to bus children to an overflow building less than a mile away.

Pupils from South Morningside Primary in Edinburgh are driven to and from their main school building on Comiston Road to an annexe at the Cluny Centre just 0.6 miles down the road.

Parents are now calling for the council to scrap the bus and let the children walk the short distance instead.

The parent council is looking to find extra money to pay for a second gym hall and is proposing that some of the money saved by axing the bus service could be used to rent hall space.

The school consistently fails to meet national targets to give children two hours of PE a week.

Parent Sandrine Tonini said:

“They are not getting anywhere near enough PE at the moment so this is definitely a good idea.

“There have been lots of people saying the bus is a waste of money – it’s a large bus and it’s never full.

I’I knew it was a big expense but I didn’t realise it was that big. It’s a shocking figure. “

Councillor Alison Johnstone, who represents the Meadows and Morningside ward and is education spokeswoman for the Greens, said:

“The parents have been concerned about the lack of PE provision for quite some time.

“I’m supporting them to ensure that the council takes a serious look at whether it’s really necessary that the children are bused from A to B.

“I’m not sure if it’s some sort of historical anomaly stemming back to when the council had more money but these are the kinds of things we really need to be looking at. “

Education leader Marilyne MacLaren said:

“I had correspondence from South Morningside parent council and was very happy to respond to them to say I will look at this seriously and I hope there will be a report to the committee. “

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