submission by Mary R.C. Jack, resident of Tayport, retired Principal
Teacher of Guidance at Madras College, St
Andrews (22 years ), Dumbarton Academy (8 years) and
St. Luke’s High School, Barrhead ( 3 years).
In their manifesto
for the 2008 election local Liberal Democrat candidates in the Bridgehead
area stated that they would make every effort to ensure that a school
would be built north of the River Eden which would provide education for
the local children and a community use facility for the surrounding area.
Sadly this did not materialise
However it was stated that , in view of the disappointment and anger of
some of the parents and other members of the community, every effort would
be made to ensure that the new single site Madras College would be
positioned in the west of St Andrews to ensure
easier and more inclusive accessibility for children, parents and
community users given that 2/3 of the school population live north of the
Hopes were raised and then dashed when the Langlands site was revealed,
negotiated and then dropped and siting of the school reverted to firstly
Kilrymont and now Pipeland Farm - both located south of St
Many objectors have stated that Pipeland Farm is poorly located to serve
the interests of the whole catchment area. I worked closely with young
people and families for 22years with 4 year groups (approximately 280 in
each year group) from the end of P7 until leaving school at the end of S4,
S5 or S6.
Every child who walks through the school gate deserves to have his/her
individual needs provided for and parents/carers deserve to have easier
access than they have at present. Lack of access to the Kilryment Road
building has been difficult for parents and pupils under certain
circumstances for the last 40 years. It must be remembered that 2/3 of
Madras pupils come from outside the town, the greatest majority from the
Very early starts for
those from Bridgehead settlements especially Gauldry, Wormit and Newport
especially if the buses have to stand in a gridlock situation in Largo
Distance from home
services – doctor/nurse appointments, hospital appointments at Ninewells ,
optician appointment or dentist appointments.
At least 2 buses (3
from Wormit, Gauldry and some parts of Newport ) are needed to attend
these appointments unless the 92 service is used from the St
Andrews hospital which is an hourly service but takes an hour to reach
It is not always
possible to secure appointments after 4.15. Half a day’s education is
One bus only is
needed from the western end of St Andrews and it
is possible to use the 99 Service, which runs every 10 minutes, to link up
with other buses.
access to a car during the day have to use the bus service mentioned above
to pick up pupils who have become unwell at school. Unwell pupils cannot
just be “sent” home.
Parent’s nights without a car have to use bus service (except the 92
service which is erratic in the evening and does not fit in with Parent
Parents asked to come
into school for meetings during the day with DSE, Guidance, Support Staff
or Depute Rectors have similar problems and may have younger children with
them. An appointment including travel can take 3 hours in total + costs
approximately £10 per adult.
Inclusion for all
in after school activities.
One of the special characteristics of Madras College is the number of
after school activities available to pupils. Many of these activities
involve pupils at time when no school transport is available,
i.e. debates, pipe
band performances and senior pupils helping with Xmas Parties and other
activities run for pupils.
Pupils coming back into school from the catchment area or returning home
have to depend on the bus service or parents to pick them up.
Again 2 or 3 bus journeys do not encourage them to participate in these
Community Use by Those in the Wider Catchment Area.
A school located on the south side of St. Andrews is not an attractive
proposition for young people from the Bridgehead. The western side of the
town is more likely to attract young people to the facilities provided by
a new school. As Madras is a Community Use School, adults from the whole
catchment area should have equal access to its facilities.
These issues appear to have been given no attention in the Educational
Consultation or the Planning Application.
Many other issues have been indicated which I covered in my original
objection but I have decided to talk today on the need to provide a school
which is accessible to ALL, one which can be
delivered without any further delay and one which the young people in the
full catchment area can feel ownership of.