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 Beeslack Penicuik High School

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SamTyler

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PostSubject: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:48 pm

I heard from someone today that there are rumours about the merging of Penicuik's two high schools sometime in the near future, presumably to reduce costs since the cooncil are so skint. No doubt they could save lots of cash by having only one "management team" but how it would work in practice is another question. Maybe certain years at each site or pupils having to move between them for different classes?
This could be another one of those daft stories that go around but who knows?
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SueDOnym



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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:02 pm

Nip out to your local newsagent and buy a copy of this week's Advertiser - it's front page news!

http://www.midlothianadvertiser.co.uk/news/Midlothian-school-shakeup-plans.5216950.jp
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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:45 pm

It will mean that places for those outwith the catchment area will no longer be available. I am not sure how many that will amount to though. However, just over a year ago when we were looking for a place for one of our kids, we were lucky to find that there was one.

Although I knew that Mr Versteeg was leaving, it does not seem that long ago that he took over from Mr Staite. I note that the replacement is only going to be temporary and as it says in the paper agree that it would be better if someone more permanent were to be put in place sooner rather than later

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SamTyler

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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:30 pm

If one of the schools does close then what happens to all the kids from Edinburgh who attend Beeslack? Always thought that was rather odd as it is in a different council area.
It would certainly result in lots of pollution and congestion as pupils get driven from one end of town to the other.
Hopefully there will be REAL consultation this time, and not the cooncil's usual version where they ask for opinions and then ignore them completely.
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SueDOnym



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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Fri May 01, 2009 8:39 am

REAL consultation? I wouldn't hold your breath on that one...ask anyone in Gorebridge, where our high school was closed in one of the most short-sighted decisions ever, despite all the so-called consultation and public outcry.
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little_leia



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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Sat May 23, 2009 6:03 pm

According to midlothian there is no such thing as a catchment area anyway, they want to have s1-3 at one school and s4-6 at the other school as a sort of senior school so if that is what they do then there will be 2 management teams needed
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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Sat May 23, 2009 7:13 pm

I'm not sure I like the idea of splitting the schools into two like that. When the kids move from primary to secondary, it is disruptive enough with the changes they have to face. If after 3rd year they have to face more changes in adjusting to a new school that could make things difficult for some of the kids. In any event, it will be interesting to see what exactly the proposals are and what kind of consultation there will be.

At the moment I have one kid at Penicuik high and another at Beeslack. However, I much prefer having kids that stay with me go to Beeslack as I know the teachers there better and the school is much nearer.

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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Tue May 26, 2009 6:05 pm

At the monthly midlothian council parent council meeting, Donal Mackay spouted forth about this. Change is needed due to the falling numbers at Penicuik High School - expected to be around 400 for 2010/11 - and so they can't offer a full cirriculum - which is fair enough. It is being billed as a Midlothian issue but its not really its a Penicuik issue.

All representatives that were there were very strong in their view that there had be consultation with parents and open communication - Donald and co appeared to take this on but don't hold your breath - its is the council after all.

A full time permanent headteacher will be appointed for Beeslack which is a good thing but apparently the head at Penicuik is leaving - don't know when - so that will be interesting.

To me the solution seems fairly obvious - stop the outside catchment to Beeslack and make Strathesk feed to Penicuik - would that not balance the role a bit.

But I am sure in true Council style it will be much more complicated than that!!
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Murray



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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Tue May 26, 2009 10:28 pm

>but apparently the head at Penicuik is leaving

This is simply not true.
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SamTyler

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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Wed May 04, 2011 9:51 am

I see that the SNP are not happy that the Labour candidate said that "no one would mind if Beeslack was demolished". Sounds like the cooncil are going to do their standard "consultation" before making changes to the local schools. It could get interesting!
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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Wed May 04, 2011 1:43 pm

Well, I find it very suriprising that someone would want to say something like that. In all the years that I have dealt with Beeslack High School I have found that it has been very popular with parents near and far wanting to send their kids there. I think therefore, that there would be quite a few people who would mind if the school were to be demolished.

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SamTyler

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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Wed May 04, 2011 7:00 pm

It has turned in to a real bitch-fest now with Labour putting out a leaflet denying the SNPs claims. I tend not to believe anyone nowadays, especially since there was a never any mention of Jackson Street / Ladywood Leisure Centre etc being demolished when the Penicuik Centre plans were announced. It should be very interesting next year when we get the council elections happening
affraid
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pitsgate



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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Wed May 04, 2011 8:59 pm

Quote :
there was a never any mention of Jackson Street / Ladywood Leisure Centre etc being demolished when the Penicuik Centre plans were announced
Actually, Sam, there was, as I said more than once at the time. You needed to go hunting for it it wasn't exactly shouted from the rooftops but it was certainly stated that the Centre was to be paid for from the proceeds of the sale of redundant Council properties once the chances of using developer contributions declined.
The fact that people didn't understand the implications was, you could argue, hardly the Council's fault though admittedly they were careful not to mention any particular property by name! I could name several people who assumed that the properties concerned were at the other end of the county and seemed unable (or unwilling? until it was too late anyway) to take on board the argument that it would be political suicide to sell property in Gorebridge or Newtongrange in order to build a new Centre in Penicuik.
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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Sat May 07, 2011 2:58 pm

Looks like the next year could be interesting as we see how Labour Midlothian get along with the SNP government. Hopefully next year's elections will bring (at last) a change to the council too!

PS: remember to give generously to help the endangered species of the Lib-Dems
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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Thu May 19, 2011 7:33 pm

I see that someone has set up a facebook page about the consultation and possible merger. Unfortunately I was unable to go to the meeting in Beeslack as I was on a social work training course.
http://en-gb.facebook.com/NO.BHS.Merger

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pitsgate



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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Fri May 20, 2011 5:32 pm

I don't have a dog in this fight (nor would have done even if I'd still been in Penicuik) but has anyone come up with a better idea?
It is a fact that there is a "tipping point" below which it is not possible to provide the standard of education and the range of subjects that children are entitled to and that parents have a right to expect and demand. At least not in a way which is compatible with sensible economics and proper use of taxpayers' money.
At which point you do ....... what, precisely? Ignore the situation? Let standards slip? Consign the next half-dozen generations to a second-rate education? (As if that wasn't a big enough problem in the UK as it is!)
Come on, somebody. What's the answer? Opposition for opposition's sake is not the solution and telling the Council you don't like it is not the answer.
Of course you don't like it. Nobody likes it. I'm prepared to bet the Councillors don't like it. Setting up facebook pages might make you feel all warm and comfy but it doesn't solve the problem.
Think positive!
What would you do?
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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Sat May 21, 2011 8:33 am

Don't forget though, that there is more than one option. I suspect that that there will be a number of people who disagree with the councils recommendation.

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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Sat May 21, 2011 11:35 am

I'm sure you're right, Andy. And I would hope that the Council will look at any options that people put forward though I can understand why people get cynical about government (at all levels) consultation these days.
But simply saying, "we dinnae want it" and then putting your head back under the blanket and your fingers in your ears is not productive.
And when the Council goes with its original proposals everyone says, "I told you so. They didn't listen." And the answer is, "Yes they did, it's just that you weren't actually saying anything for them to listen to!"
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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Wed May 25, 2011 2:45 pm

Quote :
But simply saying, "we dinnae want it" and then putting your head back under the blanket and your fingers in your ears is not productive.

I don't think it is a case of people just saying no to the council's recommendation. It is probably that it is the least popular one of the three options. I suspect that there are likely to be a number of people who would prefer option 3(a, b or c) to expand the catchment area in the consultation document.
http://www.midlothian.gov.uk/penicuik-schools-consultation

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pitsgate



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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Wed May 25, 2011 9:05 pm

Hey, Andy, I'm just having a bit of fun! Very Happy
I like 3a because it goes a little way to balancing the sizes of Beeslack, Penicuik and Lasswade. Whether Loanhead parents fancy the idea I couldn't say. My original post was a poke at those who didn't set up a site to put forward a positive suggestion but just repeated the same old, same old negative "People against ...[insert moan of choice here]"
Trouble is, however you tinker with catchment areas you're going to end up with children being bussed past Beeslack to get to Penicuik OR you're going to screw up primary school catchment areas OR you're going to have children from the same primary school going to different secondary schools.
The Council's preferred option gives you one school a bit bigger than Lasswade. It just happens to be a long walk from one set of classrooms to the other!
Can someone explain why that's a problem?
I'm not saying it's ideal but at least think first and oppose (on good grounds) later.


PS Anybody know what the weather's going to be like this weekend? I need to know whether to pack my thermals or not.
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Evil Edna



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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Thu May 26, 2011 9:44 pm

Not sure about thermals but certainly an umbrella or waterproof jackets. Just back from the installation and it was damp/drizzly/grey/cool.
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pitsgate



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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:24 pm

We managed without the thermals though I did pack extra vests!
The Parade was first class -- I spent 20 years organising it but never got to see it till this year. Great turn out of horses. Everything to its usual high standard. Proof that Penicuik can do it (or at least most of it can). The usual carpers were conspicuous by their absence as usual. So were the politicians in the park (with one exception that I managed to avoid I'm pleased to say).
We had a great weekend. Sorry we couldn't catch up with everyone we'd wanted to see. Next year, perhaps.
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pitsgate



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PostSubject: Re: Beeslack Penicuik High School   Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:07 pm

http://www.midlothianadvertiser.co.uk/news/local-headlines/council_to_ditch_penicuik_schools_merger_plan_1_1753185
So the Council does listen to what local people say. One in the eye for the cynics and the pessimists who claimed it was all a foregone conclusion.
Fingers crossed that they can come up with a solution now. The original argument that falling rolls mean restricted choice and that means a lowering of educational standards still holds good.
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