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Council and University to join in school partnership

An historic partnership between the University of St Andrews and Fife Council was given the go ahead today, when councillors of the Policy, Finance and Asset Management Committee agreed the terms of a Framework Memorandum for joint investment in a new building for Madras College.

As part of the Building Fife’s Future programme the council has already agreed to use £40m from the Capital Investment Plan to build a new school for Madras College.

Following much discussion with the University and other stakeholders, a Framework Memorandum has been drawn up which could see a new school built on University land near the Sports Centre.

The outlined partnership also sees the University investing £10m in improved sports facilities which would be used by the school.

Dr Louise Richardson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, said: “This relationship between a university and a secondary school would be unique to Scotland.

“I believe the vision for the new Madras is a worthy continuation of Scotland’s long and proud tradition of innovation in education and could serve as a model for future partnerships between schools, universities, colleges and industry.

“By taking a school to the heart of a university science campus we are signalling with Fife Council our ambition to nurture new generations of science-literate students and to act as a catalyst for a closer bond between our secondary and higher education sectors.

“I am hugely excited by the possibilities this ambitious projects presents for students, staff, the community of St Andrews and Scotland.”

A report from the Madras Co-location Working Group, comprised of experts from the Council, University and beyond, had earlier highlighted the educational benefits which could accrue through such a partnership. These included:

·         Increased sharing of best practice in teaching and learning across sectors;

·         Enhancement of school-university transition;

·         Provision of an authority-wide and national focus for science learning;

·         Support for pupils and students with additional support needs;

·         Sharing of research projects and outcomes;

·         Integration of sports and conference activities;

·         Continuing professional development (CPD) in science.

Cllr. Peter Grant, Leader of Fife Council, commented, “Today’s decision confirms the commitment of Fife Council and the University of St Andrews to work together to produce an educational facility unlike anything else in Scotland.  I welcome the fact that there was unanimous cross party support at today’s meeting.  This has the potential to deliver incalculable benefits to generations of young people.”

Chair of the Education and Children’s Services Committee Cllr. Douglas Chapman added, “This is part of our £126m investment in building, rebuilding or refurbishing six schools across Fife to help us reach our priority of raising attainment and achievement for all, and what better way for us to achieve this than linking to a world class university like St Andrews.

“The opportunities which co-location can offer the school are substantial indeed. We are hoping that it will produce a sustainable facility, with enhanced facilities for science, music, sport and community use, which could be procured and run on a partnership basis with shared costs, resources and practices.

“This is also a unique opportunity for education in Fife to strengthen links with the University and has the potential to help us improve the outcomes for all children in Fife as we believe the benefits will go much wider than just the pupils at Madras.

“This is the deal we always wanted and, working hand in hand with University of St Andrews, makes the new Madras College the most exciting school project in Europe.”

ENDS

 

 

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews and Fife Council
Contact: Gail Stepo, Communications Officer, Fife Council on 08451 55 55 55 ext 442604
or Niall Scott, Director of Corporate Communications, University of St Andrews on 01334 462244 / 462529, or email
niall.scott@st-andrews.ac.uk
Ref:  Madras Partnership 031209
View the latest University press releases at www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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