The Minister for Education, Sport and Culture has stated that building a two-form entry school on the Douglas Park Road brownfield site is ‘not possible’.

Julie Edge confirmed this in response to Douglas East MHK Joney Faragher during last Tuesday’s House of Keys sitting, in which the latter enquired about Ms Edge’s department’s plans for a new two-form entry school somewhere in the city.

Ms Faragher said that certain schools in the capital have been suffering from ‘overcrowded classrooms’ due to there being too many students.

Talking during the Keys sitting, Ms Edge said: ‘I’d like to emphasise that an initial site sizing for the Park Road site showed that under current guidelines, it’s not sufficient for a two-form entry school - but the site could be part of the solution.

‘This solution could be that the Park Road site is used as a one-form entry school - with another potential site close by in Douglas also being a one-form entry school in collaboration.’

When asked why the site had been vacant for so long, Ms Edge said: ‘Things aren’t moving at the pace that we’d all like. I would’ve liked to see a new school five or six years ago.

‘However, I think the right thing to do was to find that strategic site and make sure it’s the right place for all of our children, either in Douglas east or Douglas central.’

In a supplementary question, MHK for Douglas North, David Ashford, asked whether any consideration had been made for the site to be used for another purpose, such as housing.

Ms Edge confirmed that her department’s plan is for a ‘much-needed’ school to be built.

She said: ‘I would hope this is everybody’s priority.

‘We all see major housing developments coming forward in other parts of Douglas, but my priority is to see a new primary school in the east - with Park Road being part of the solution for this.’