Towerbank Primary Catchment Changes

Closed 22 Jun 2015

Opened 8 May 2015

Feedback updated 16 Dec 2015

We asked

We need to change catchment areas for local schools, which of the four options do you prefer, and why?

You said

We need to think about how to keep families together in the same school, and also to make sure that routes we expect children to take to school are safe.

We did

We suggest that, if the Council agrees to change the boundaries that were set out in option 4, in some circumstances younger brothers and sisters will still be able to go to Towerbank Primary even if their home is now aligned to a different school. We will also look at improving signage and installing a new toucan crossing to make some of the routes a bit easier for families. The Council will make their decision on 22 October 2015 and changes would apply immediately if they are approved.

Results updated 27 Oct 2015

We ran a statutory consultation about possible changes to local catchment areas in May - June 2015.
All of the issues raised have now been considered and we published our Outcome Report on 1 October. 
On 22 October 2015 the Council agreed that to: 
  • the changes to the catchment areas of Towerbank Primary School and its neighbouring primaries, as set out in Option 4 of the consultation paper.
  • put a sibling guarantee in place for qualifying families living in the affected areas of the current Towerbank catchment area. 

These changes apply immediately.  

We will take forward measures to improve the routes to new catchment schools, including:
  • looking to put in another Toucan crossing near the Brunstane Road junction on Milton Road East, , and 
  • upgrading signs on the route from Baileyfield to The Royal High Primary School.
Please read the outcome report for full details of the recommendations and how we responded to the different issues raised through the consultation period.


There are now a lot more young children in Portobello and Joppa than ten years ago. The local school Towerbank Primary is much busier. More pupils start primary 1 than leave P7 every year. The building is nearly full and there is a limit to how many classes that we can run. If we make the Towerbank catchment area smaller there will be fewer pupils in it. That will help us to keep the number of pupils at a level where the school has enough space to give pupils the best opportunities for learning. 
You can find full details about the options in the consultation paper. In short, there are four options to transfer parts of the Towerbank catchment to other schools that we would like your views on. 
A lot of people have already asked what will happen to families with younger brothers and sisters. Will families be split?  This is a difficult issue. Pupils who are already in P1-P7 at Towerbank can stay there. For younger brothers and sisters option 1, 2 and 3 would give priority in some cases to affected families. Some parents asked us to guarantee places for families that might be split. This is what option 4 offers.  
Any changes would apply to future P1 intakes from the 2016/17 school year onwards and to pupils moving into the catchment from the date of the Council decision.

Why your views matter

We have a legal obligation to consult on catchment changes. Whatever changes we make, some families will be affected. We need to understand their concerns.
We want to hear from people who could be affected and from people who know the local area well. This will help to identify the best solution. 

What happens next

Now that the consultation period is over we must send Education Scotland information about what was said. They will look at this and discuss them with the local schools.
After that, Education Scotland send us a report on their findings. This is then part of the outcome report that Councillors base their final decision on.
That outcome report will be public. We expect to publish it by 1 October 2015. If we have your contact details we will send you a link.We will also publish it online.
The issues raised in the consultation will be set out with our responses and recommentdations. Councillors are then due to consider the issues on Thursday, 22 October 2015 to decide what will happen. 
If catchment changes are agreed they will come into effect straight away. That means that places for Primary 1 pupils who are due to start school in August 2016 will be set on the basis of the new areas.  


  • Towerbank Public Meeting

    From 21 May 2015 at 18:30 to 21 May 2015 at 20:30

    Your chance to find out more and ask the Council's team questions @ Towerbank Primary School.

  • Brunstane Public Meeting

    From 25 May 2015 at 18:00 to 25 May 2015 at 20:00

    Your chance to find out more and ask the Council's team questions @ Brunstane Primary School.

  • Duddingston Public Meeting

    From 1 Jun 2015 at 18:30 to 1 Jun 2015 at 20:30

    Your chance to find out more and ask the Council's team questions @ Duddingston Primary School.

  • The Royal High Primary Public Meeting

    From 3 Jun 2015 at 18:30 to 3 Jun 2015 at 20:30

    Your chance to find out more and ask the Council's team questions @ The Royal High Primary School.


  • Neigbourhood Partnership - Craigentinny/Duddingston
  • Neigbourhood Partnership - Leith
  • Neigbourhood Partnership - Portobello/Craigmillar
  • Ward 13 - Leith
  • Ward 14 - Craigentinny/Duddingston
  • Ward 17 - Portobello/Craigmillar


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