Wasted chance

Your article (10 August) on the benefits of “businesses of all shapes and sizes” working with Scottish university students highlights the way forward.

Such a progressive scheme, envisaged some years ago by Fife Council and St Andrews University, was even extended to include our secondary school pupils, by relocating the school to “the heart of the university science campus, nurturing new generations of science-literate students… a model for future partnerships between schools, universities, colleges and industry” (University Principal).

Supported by the public, school and chair of Fife Council’s education committee (who called it “the most exciting school project in Europe”), this imaginative plan sadly fell through apparently due to some disagreement, trivial versus its potential, between council and university.

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Despite a three-year public campaign to revive the plan on the still-available campus site, the current Fife Council now intends effectively to bury it altogether for this century, by relocating the school to a site more than a mile from the university’s world-class staff and facilities.

That would inevitably reduce the ready-access and potential for synergies between both, diminishing school staff’s continuous professional development, weakening senior pupils’ transition to university, and gravely diluting the earlier vision for the next 15 school generations.

John Birkett

Horseleys Park

St Andrews