A council committee has given the green light to a brand new primary school in Perth.
Perth and Kinross Council’s Learning and Families Committee this week approved the establishment of a new primary school at Bertha Park.
Pending planning approval, the new school will be built on the site just west of Bertha Park High School and open to pupils in August 2026.
The committee was recommended by officers to approve the new school and catchment area and changes to catchment areas of nearby schools when it met on Wednesday, November 2.
The committee also rubber-stamped changes to the catchment areas of nearby Ruthvenfield Primary School, Pitcairn Primary School, Luncarty Primary School and Tulloch Primary School.
There is a 30-year masterplan for housebuilding on the outskirts of Perth at Almond Valley, Bertha Park and Perth West. Over the next 10 years 2512 houses are expected to be built generating roughly 678 primary school pupils.
The new primary would have capacity for 434 pupils with 14 classrooms.
Bertha Park High School opened to pupils in August 2019.
At Wednesday’s meeting Independent councillor Colin Stewart asked why a recommendation had not originally been made to “build an all-through school and attach a primary school to Bertha Park given there would obviously have been a projected need for one”.
Service manager Brian Reid said: ” I know there has been very much a masterplan about Bertha Park was taken forward, how the housebuilding and numbers would stack up.”
He said there was “obviously a big timing difference” between the delivery of both schools and there were “significant challenges there” and “significance about government funding and how that was brought forward for the secondary school”.
He added: “I think the timings would just not allay to an all-through at that point.”
Convener John Rebbeck said it was a “very fair question” and formally moved for approval seconded by fellow SNP councillor Steven Carr.
Former convener Conservative councillor Caroline Shiers said: “This is a very positive outcome for: the communites across the north of Perth: the new community at Bertha Park: the new school community which has grown up around Bertha Park High School, and also the existing community of Ruthvenfield Primary School.
“When this was first discussed at Lifelong Learning Committee there were concerns raised in some quarters but it’s clear – in this paper – a very positive outcome is now in place.”
She said the new primary would make a “positive contribution to the lives of children and families in the local area”.
SNP councillor John Rebbeck – somewhat humbly – admitted: “You’re right. I think I was certainly guilty of not really appreciating how quickly these houses would go up and that is certainly noted. I’m delighted we’re moving forward with it.”
Building work on the new primary school and nursery at Bertha Park – subject to planning consent – is scheduled to start in November 2024 and be completed in June 2026.
Registration for the new school would begin in January 2026 ahead of pupils starting in August 2026.
As for the school’s name, that will be determined at a later date.
A PKC spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “An exercise regarding the naming of the new school will be undertaken in due course and a report will be considered at the Learning and Families Committee.