Council leader speaks out on school closures

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CONTROVERSIAL plans for school mergers and closures across East Dunbartonshire have been defended this week by council leader Rhondda Geekie.

Many of the proposals have sparked outrage amongst parents and communities throughout the district and Save Our School campaign groups have held public meetings and a demonstration outside the council’s HQ in Kirkintilloch.

This week, in an exclusive interview for the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald, Councillor Geekie explains why action needs to be taken.

The shortlist of possible mergers is currently going through an informal consultation process - set to end on Monday, February 4.

Councillors will then vote on which plans to progress further at a meeting in March, with further formal consultation following in the months ahead.

The council leader insists that, while the scheme would save money in the long term, that “no option will be considered unless it also improves the educational environment for pupils”.

She added: “Our review of the Primary Estate and our commitment to invest in new schools has one goal: to protect and improve the high quality of education that we currently have.”

Councillor Geekie contends that the plans currently being considered would address issues of under-capacity in East Dunbartonshire’s current primary schools, while creating “new, modern learning and teaching environments”.

She said: “We are proposing to build brand new schools, designed for delivering Curriculum for Excellence and providing a state of the art, modern learning environment.

“I am confident that when we do, our young people will hugely benefit from our investment in their new and enhanced facilities.”

Read the full interview - and the latest news on the school closures battle - in this week’s Milngavie and Bearsden Herald, which is in shops now.

What do you think? Join the debate - comment below or e-mail us at mbherald@jnscotland.co.uk