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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 09:21 GMT 10:21 UK
Schools in capital face closure
A quarter of Edinburgh's primary schools are under threat
Up to a quarter of primary schools in Edinburgh are under threat of closure because of falling pupil numbers.

Their fate was being weighed up by councillors in Edinburgh on Tuesday, after an internal report from local authority officials.

Education director Roy Jobson has warned that the council has to plan now for the decreasing numbers.

But in parts of the city, where many new homes are being built, fresh schools may have to be built.

Pupil numbers are dropping because people have been giving birth to fewer children.

Empty desks

The number of unfilled places in Edinburgh - where there are already 10,000 empty desks - is expected to be the equivalent of 27 primary schools within eight years.

Mr Jobson stressed that if the authority had a large number of half empty schools, too much of the education budget will go on heating and maintenance.

He has urged councillors to think about closing or merging schools, or changing catchment areas.

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