CHILDREN are being offered mental health support to cope with the stress of being separated from friends when they go to different high schools.

Mindfulness brain training will be made available to 95 primary pupils affected by a catchment review in Dunfermline, Fife.

Many are said to be feeling anxious and upset at the prospect of being sent to Inverkeithing High School, instead of the over- subscribed Woodmill High, five miles away in Dunfermline.

Last year, councillors rejected the re-zoning of addresses in the Masterton Primary catchment area from Woodmill High to Inverkeithing High, following a backlash from Masterton parents.

At the time, a warning was issued by Fife Council this would result in many more pupils failing to get a place in their local school.

Stressed children who failed to secure a place at their catch- ment high school will be given mindfulness training to cope with anxiety.

Fife Council is to introduce a specialist programme for the 95 P7 pupils who were not allocated spaces at Woodmill High, which has reached its capacity.

They have instead been offered places at Inverkeithing High for the 2018-19 session, as officers continue to work to redraw catchment areas to resolve the capacity issues.

One mother, Claire Cruickshank, said: “It’ s a terrible situation to be in.”

The long-term solution will be implemented by August 2019, meaning in some cases just one year group of children will be separated from their primary school friends.

Some youngsters will also be split from classmates because those with older siblings at Woodmill have been allocated places there.

Head of education Shelagh McLean said affected pupils would be supported with a full transition programme.

It is thought placing requests from parents across west Fife will bring the number affected down to between 50 and 70 and people have been urged to get their requests in as soon as possible. 

In the meantime, however, scores of pupils remain in limbo with just seven months to go before they start at their new school.