PROPOSALS to house a primary school in a Clacks academy has drawn criticism from parents and spiritual leaders.

Parents at St Mungo's RC PS have raised concerns over plans to permanently relocate the school to Alloa Academy, highlighting a range of issues around the educational experience of their children.

In a statement, they concluded that even if their pupils were to remain in the secondary school, “the whole architecture of the building would need to be reviewed”.

They argued that no primary should be housed within a secondary and warned other parents that should anything happen to a school building, their communities could face a similar process.

Canon Kevin J Golden has also issued a statement regarding the ongoing consultation on the proposals, branding the move "totally unsuitable".

Meanwhile, a public meeting is set to be held on the matter at the Bowmar Centre on Wednesday, May 15, from 6.30pm, while consultation is also live.

The school was moved to Alloa Academy for what was said to be for the “medium term” following issues with damp and water ingress in 2018.

In March this year, education chiefs presented a report to Clackmannanshire councillors, seeking approval to progress statutory consultation to permanently relocate the primary school to the academy.

The report said that a “considerable amount of ongoing adaptations” have taken place to ensure both schools can run smoothly while St Mungo’s pupils are “able to benefit from additional facilities”.

According to the report, this includes a “greater range of PE facilities and equipment as well as PE staff from Alloa Academy” and access to facilities “such as home economics and science that are not available in primary schools”.

'Distorted view' of how schools are working together


However, a statement from the primary school’s parent council said: “We are unsure of where the view has been created that our children have access to science and home economics classrooms within Alloa Academy as they have never done so, this impression provides a distorted view of how the schools are working together.”

In terms of PE, the parent council said the children receive classes in the small gym hall “but this requires ongoing negotiations between the schools as scheduling is tight”.

The pupils do have access to PE outside, the parent council went on to say, but when the weather is not suitable and they are unable to access the gym hall, PE is delivered in classrooms instead.

The statement added: “There are also no proper changing facilities available, children are required to get changed in the toilets prior to being taken along to the gym hall.”

There were other issues raised such as the lack of a grassy outside space and the lack of room to develop one.

Parents said there are also problems with the number of toilets and how they are accessed as well as the children being exposed to “inappropriate language”, “swearing, vaping, fights”.

The primary does have access to an assembly hall.

However, the parent council added: “If there is something happening in the canteen area the children need to go outside, regardless of the weather, to move between their school and that part of the building.

“This again emphasises why fundamentally even if the decision was taken to remain at Alloa Academy that the whole architecture of the building would need reviewed and council would need to commit funds to improve the life of the school, including moving the primary school to the ground floor with a new dedicated entrance.”

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Canon Golden agreed, following a visit to the school by his delegate Canon Tom Shields.

In a statement through the parent council, he said: “A Catholic school must be able to pursue its rhythm of prayer and devotions and have the opportunity within the school to celebrate Mass.

“Again, it is far from clear how any of this can be achieved within the existing or any proposed building layout.

“While I am sure this is not the intention, it appears to us in the diocese that Clackmannanshire Council is not providing adequate provision for Catholic education in its proposal.”

He also said that the Diocese of Dunkeld “cannot support this proposal”.

The canon went on to say that following discussions and a visit, “we have concluded that the Alloa Academy site is totally unsuitable for the housing of both Alloa Academy and St Mungo’s Primary School”.

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Both the canon and parent council argued that Alloa Academy was never intended to house two school communities.

Canon Golden added that even where a shared joint campus is indented from inception, usually housing schools of the “same sector”, there are “tensions and problems to overcome”.

It is even more challenging, then, to house both a primary and secondary school on the same site – one denominational and the other not.

The parent council praised the effort of teachers at the school, but said that the “additional time and supervision required to move between parts of the building and additional supervision of the children surely impacts on their teaching time and the demands of the staff”.

The parent council is encouraging all the attend the public meeting.

Its statement added: “It might be suggested that reading the report to council, that if anything should occur to any school in Clackmannanshire, that those schools might end up facing a similar process of being resettled into one of the academies to save money.

“All parents and parent councils within the county need to be aware of this issue and the associated risks."



At the March 21 meeting, the Kilncraigs chamber heard that four options were considered for the RC primary by the education service.

These included co-location at the academy, building a new school at Forth Crescent where the old building was abandoned, building one at another site or building one adjacent to Park PS.

Refurbishment of the old building was “not recommended as economically viable” and a demolish and rebuild was previously ruled out for the same reason.

For a potential new-build, it is estimated that some £6.8m to £7.6m would be required.

The report concluded that co-location “represents an economic, low risk and workable solution”.

The statement from Canon Golden added: “We are also profoundly disappointed that this consultation process points only one direction.”

At the meeting itself, as reported then, education spokesperson Cllr Graham Lindsay said the current operation at the academy was “very smooth” with the young people growing and thriving in a high-quality environment.

Cllr Craig Holden voted against the proposal, which ultimately passed, and argued that all options, not just co-location, should have been included in the consultation.

“Do you think it’s the best way to consult with people by blocking off three options and leaving them with one?”, he asked.

“It suggests that you’ve made up your mind before you’ve asked them the question.”

The parent council’s statement was put to the local authority for comment and the Advertiser twice asked whether the wrong information was presented to elected members, given some of the contrasting points raised.

A spokesperson said: “The consultation on permanently relocating St Mungo's RC Primary School opened on April 17 and will close on May 31.

“The consultation provides the opportunity for views of all stakeholders to be heard through the process.

“A report on the outcome of the consultation will be brought back to council for decision early in 2025.

“The operational arrangements in St Mungo’s RC Primary School and Alloa Academy are regularly reviewed by the senior management teams in both schools, supported by the education authority, to ensure that the needs of learners are best met and that the facilities of the site are maximised.”