Parent Council Report on Survey of New School Fall Back Options

The survey used a simple Survey Monkey questionnaire and was compiled on behalf of the Portobello High School Parent Council (PC) and with the assistance of the PC’s new school sub group. The survey was conducted from 1st to 6th November at the request of the City of Edinburgh Council to assist it with further detailed consideration of fall back options for siting the new PHS and in the preparation of a related report to the Council to be published on 16 November.


Notification of the survey to parents and carers of pupils at the school was made via the PHS texting and email service and on the school’s website. It was launched on the afternoon of the 1st of November and was closed on the evening of the 6th November. To assist parents and carers links were provided to the option appraisals prepared by the Council on each of the fall back sites plus a summary of the pros and cons of each site.


The survey did not ask a question on the siting of the new school in Portobello Park as this was selected decisively by the CEC as the preferred site, a decision the PC very much agrees with.


Summary of findings


386 responses were received which has been estimated to be about a third of the numbers of parent and carers of children at PHS.


Headlines from the survey include: the least popular options were the joint campuses (90% opposed to Craigmillar and 88% opposed to Brunstane), followed by rebuild on site with decant (77% opposition); a new build of PHS on the Brunstane site was opposed by nearly 71% of respondents. Roughly equal numbers were opposed to a phased rebuilding on the existing site (55% opposed) or building on the Baileyfield site (53%). Clearly no option received a majority in favour.


Responses to each of the fall back options were as follows (rounding may mean percentages do not add up to exactly100%):


  • New school on the existing site requiring a decant: 77% were opposed to this option (with 65% ‘strongly disagreeing’), with nearly 14% agreeing to it and 9% did not express a preference either way.
  • Phased build on existing site – no decant: 55% were opposed (with just under 38% strongly disagreeing), 33% agreed to the option with nearly 12% registered no preference.
  • Build the new school on the Baileyfield site: 53% were opposed to this option (just short of 32% strongly disagreeing), 32% agreed and just under 15% did not express a preference either way.
  • Build the new school on the Brunstane site: nearly 71% opposed this option (with just under 48% strongly disagreeing), just over 14% agreed to the option with just over 15% registering no preference.
  • Build a joint campus with Castlebrae at Brunstane: nearly 88% opposed this option (nearly 74% strongly disagreeing), under 6% agreeing and just less than 7% neither agreeing or disagreeing.
  • Build a joint campus with Castlebrae at Craigmillar: 90% disagreed with this option (nearly 80% strongly), under 4% agreed and just over 6% did not have a preference.


Click HERE to see the full surveymonkey results, including comments.

Click HERE to see graphics summarising all responses.