Investment in the school: We need to act now

The Parent Council has been arguing for many years that the school is in need of significant investment. Last year, in response to our survey of parents’ views many of you agreed with this and raised it as a priority issue. Putting this in context, Trinity Academy last benefitted from major refurbishment in 1995 while we have seen many other schools refurbished or rebuilt in the last few years.

We believe the school’s 125th anniversary represents a unique opportunity to turn-around an approach of piecemeal repairs to one that prioritises sustainable development of the school. The whole community would greatly benefit, for decades, from proper far-sighted investment to refurbish or rebuild the school.

We want as many of you as possible to contact local Councillors because we need to urge the council to commit now to invest in Trinity Academy. Please email them before mid-February (the Council’s budget meeting is 22-February). Below we’ll explain why we need you to do this and some of the main issues.

We must separate the school as a building from the idea of school as a place where our children are educated. We know that Trinity Academy is a successful school, a popular school that people are proud to have in their community.

On the other hand, the school buildings need significant investment. In December 2017 Trinity Academy’s condition and suitability assessment meant it was the secondary school most in need of investment within Edinburgh. The swimming pool has remained unused for many years, with the Council unwilling to repair or replace it while the future plan for development of the school is uncertain. As a result, the school lacks some of the facilities that are taken for granted in other schools.

At the moment the 2018/2019 budget describes work to rebuild or refurbish Trinity Academy as a priority but one that is unfunded. We want the Council to turn Trinity Academy into a funded priority now. There is a proposal that, as a first step, the Council could commit to release funds to develop designs for a rebuilt or refurbished school at the site and develop the Bangholm site to provide a new sports campus.

Both of these could be an important first step. Development of a new sports campus at Bangholm (one that meets the school’s and community’s needs) is an important first step to improve the school and would make it easier to develop the main site. We think that developing a design solution for the school site demonstrates a commitment to improving the school and would be a first step in obtaining any future funding from the Scottish Government.

Despite the many good reasons why funding for improvements at Trinity Academy should be in the 2018/2019 budget, other competing priorities will also be included. It’s important we apply pressure to those making the decision on Edinburgh’s budget to ensure the importance of investment in our community and its future are recognised.

What can we do to help?

The most important thing we can do to help is to write to our local councillors and the Director of Communities and Families, Alistair Gaw. The full council will meet on the 22nd February and determine the final decision on the 2018/2019 budget. It’s therefore very important that we put pressure on our councillors to ensure that investment in Trinity Academy is included in the budget for this coming year.

Please email or write to your local Councillors and everyone listed in our ‘who’s who’ document. Please also include neighbouring Councillors and members of the Education, Children and Families committee plus our MP and MSP, Both of whom are supporting this campaign. Send a copy to too.

To start an email with everyone included just click here.

Please don’t worry this if you are busy or feel you are not good at writing letters, hopefully the points below help, and it is much more important that we show our Councillors just how much support there is among their constituents for investment in our school. The best letter is one that uses your own words, reflecting your own experiences and guided by some of the points below.

  • Trinity Academy has missed-out on much-needed investment while other schools have been redeveloped in the city.
  • This is unfair on students at Trinity Academy who do not have the same resources and opportunities as are available elsewhere in the city.
  • The uncertainty over future redevelopment has reduced maintenance and repair at the school to the essential minimum.
  • Recent work that has been carried out at the school is to keep it wind and water tight; it does not enhance the education of my child.
  • Due to rising rolls, the school will breach capacity in 2024 and pressure on the school will increase before then as the ‘rising roll’ generation of primary school students move to secondary school.
  • In some areas such as PE and general-purpose space the school is already unable to cope with its current roll.
  • The needs of Trinity Academy can not wait for another budgetary cycle.
  • 2018 marks the 125th anniversary of Trinity Academy. Trinity is a school with a long history which needs investment to continue to provide a first-class education to the young people of our community.
  • Trinity Academy must remain a top-priority for investment.

Thank you for anything you can do to help to prioritise investment in Trinity Academy in this year’s budget. If you have any questions about this please contact us.