CHILDREN living next door to one other are being sent to primary schools miles apart under rules which need an urgent review, it is being claimed.

School catchment plans drawn up before new housing estates were built are splitting communities, with some families forced to walk past a new school to attend classes at an older one further away.

A meeting of East Lothian Council’s education committee heard calls for a review of catchment areas in Haddington and Musselburgh in particular, where it was claimed they were both out-of-date and bad for the environment.

Haddington councillor Craig Hoy said that only some of the families moving into new housing near Letham Mains Primary School were within its catchment area, with others having to walk further to the town’s older school.

He said: “At a time when East Lothian has declared a climate change emergency, it makes no sense that the children of some Gateside residents will be enrolled at Letham Mains Primary, while others have to travel across town to Haddington Primary.

“I would urge East Lothian Council to conduct a catchment review to rectify this at the earliest possible opportunity.

“We owe it to local parents to try and ensure their children are educated at the school nearest to where they live.

“A full review of local catchment areas would deliver this reassurance and support for local families.”

Councillor John Williamson, whose Musselburgh ward covers Old Craighall, said that in that community a child at “no 34” went to Campie Primary School in the town, while another at “no 36” was sent to Whitecraig Primary School.

He added: “There is no direct route from Old Craighall to Whitecraig unless you fly.”

Lesley Brown, East Lothian Council’s chief education officer, said a review of the entire learning strategy was under way.

She told councillors it would include a review of catchment areas across East Lothian.

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