Question about St Joseph’s Primary asked in Parliament today

Parents demonstrating about proposed closure of St Joseph's Primary School.
Parents demonstrating about proposed closure of St Joseph's Primary School.

MSP Ruth Davidson asked when the Scottish Government will make a decision about the future of St Joseph’s Primary School during today’s First Minister Questions.

St Joseph’s parents have been waiting for two years for a decsion about whether they will be allowed to run the school themselves.

St Joseph’s, Milngavie’s only Catholic school, faces closure because East Dunbartonshire Council is creating a new merged Catholic primary school with St Andrew’s Primary in Bearsden.

Under their plans pupils will be bussed from Milngavie to the new school, which is being built on the St Andrew’s Primary current site on Duntocher Road, Bearsden.

Ruth Davidson said 21 months ago she “challenged the First Minister to give more autonomy to schools” and asks why there’s been a delay in delivering a decision.

The First Minister replied: “There wouldn’t be a decision to take on St Joseph’s if Conservative councillors hadn’t voted to close the school.”

Nearly a year ago St Joseph’s parents handed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon their business plan.

Nearly six months ago they met John Swinney, the new education secretary, who promised a decision within six months. But they still have no decision and they feel they are now at the eleventh hour.

Helen Williams, chair of St Joseph’s parent council, said: “We are optimistic that the Scottish Government will do the right thing and save St Joseph’s.

“The parents have put-together a strong proposal for a community-led school that will keep our children in Milngavie.

“St Joseph’s is a successful and well-supported school that has been at the heart of our community for generations.

“The First Minister herself has met with parents twice and listened to our case, as well as the education secretary, John Swinney.

“We are expecting a decision within weeks and we are all keeping our fingers crossed.”