'More than just a school' say parents fighting to save Dalry Primary and Secondary

Parents have called Dalry Primary and Secondary a "big part" of the local community.

Parents in a Dumfries and Galloway village are fighting to keep a local school open, which they say is a hub for the local community.

Dalry Primary and Secondary School has seen pupil numbers decline over the years, corresponding with a fall in staff numbers and subject choices.

Next month, councillors will consider whether to mothball the school - a step parents say is tantamount to closing it all together.

For parents like Sharon Currie, the school has been a part of her life since she herself was a child.

She attended it for her primary and secondary education, and now her children do too. "It's a big part of the community," she explained.

Sharon Currie is a former pupil of the school which her children now attend too.

"The well-being of my children is the most important thing here, so I wouldn't be able to send them to another school because they would not want to leave Dalry school. They want to continue there education here."

Current pupil Rosa agreed with her sentiments, and suggested the small class sizes had been an asset, rather than a barrier, to her education.

"I love this school. It's amazing and it's so nice that we can be friends with each other and know each other," she said.

A meeting was held last month to discuss the school's future. To some, keeping a school with just sixteen pupils open doesn't make economic sense. But parents who spoke to ITV News stressed that local amenities keep a small village like Dalry alive.

"I think it would have an enormous impact both on the community here, because families wouldn't come, they wouldn't be attracted to either staying here or living here," said one.

If the school is mothballed its pupils will likely attend alternatives in the Castle Douglas area. Parent Council chair Stewart Gibson said that would mean daily travel time of around eighty minutes, using transport which, he claimed, can often be unreliable.

"It's going to be up earlier, home later," he said.

"We've already been told that any children traveling to Castle Douglas won't be able to take part in out of school activities because the bus will leave straight away."

"It's just going to really, really put a lot of pressure on parents and children alike."

In a statement Dumfries and Galloway Council said: "A meeting was held on Monday 29 January, and the engagement survey results were shared with those in attendance.

"Options on how the secondary school asset and the future of those undertaking learning in the school catchment were discussed, and a paper will be taken to a future meeting of the Education and Learning Committee, for Elected Members to decide on the preferred option."