PLANS to replace a Johnstone primary school are being drawn up by Renfrewshire Council, writes Jack Thomson

At the recent meeting of the education and children’s services policy board, councillors gave their approval for officers to develop proposals to replace Thorn Primary as part of a Schools Estate Management Plan.

A report presented to the board stated a survey had found the overall suitability of facilities at the school was “poor” and identified pupil social areas, toilets, staff bases, collaborative learning spaces and dining areas as “unsuitable.”

READ MORE: NHS’s only male midwife in the West of Scotland

It has also been found that classroom accommodation at the school was beginning to show signs of deterioration.

Councillor Jim Paterson, education convener, said: “It is of paramount importance to us to make sure all pupils are given the best possible surroundings in which to learn and reach their potential. The Schools Estate Management Plan being developed takes a detailed long-term view of how to achieve that.

“One of the issues it identifies is the facilities at Thorn Primary School are in need of improvement and councillors have given officers approval to develop a set of proposals which will do that.

“It is important to stress this is only the first step – the council will consider all options and consult fully with all concerned to find the best solution for pupils.

“The funding arrangements are yet to be decided but, as part of the council’s budget, £27million was set aside for school buildings improvements, some of which could be used to unlock further funding from the Scottish Government.”

There are also plans for a catchment review affecting Kilbarchan Primary and East Fulton Primary, in Linwood, and one affecting Inchinnan Primary and Rashielea Primary, in Erskine.

In addition, proposals are being drawn up to address the future impact of housing at Park Mains High, in Erskine, and Todholm Primary and St Andrew’s Academy, both in Paisley.

Education bosses are also to develop plans for a new Paisley Grammar School after these were given the go-ahead by councillors.

READ MORE: Man tied up in his home as car is stolen

A report said the school is showing “major defects,” leading Renfrewshire Council to make a new-build a key priority, although councillors were told it is unlikely the new school could be built by 2023.

Steven Quinn, director of children’s services for Renfrewshire Council, said: “This paper is to get approval that Paisley Grammar is a priority for the council and we would be tasked with coming back with proposals on how we would finance that and where it would go”

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond