Fears for future of school

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PARENTS of pupils at Baldernock Primary School near Milngavie have slammed East Dunbartonshire Council for refusing to classify it as a rural school.

They are worried that if the council fails to call the school ‘rural’ it may be denied the grants it currently receives and eventually be threatened with closure.

The chair of the school’s parent council, Niall Campbell from Torrance, is so concerned that he has asked MSP Fiona Macleod to raise a question in the Scottish Parliament to find out if the school is a rural one.

At a recent parent council meeting at Tom Johnston House in Kirkintilloch Mr Campbell welcomed MSP Mike Russell’s moratorium on closing rural schools.

He said: “I was informed by Councillor Una Walker and officers that Baldernock Primary School is not ‘rural’ even if it’s in a lovely countryside setting.

“They admitted that it is an accessible rural school but the leader of the council, Rhondda Geekie, has in the past denied there are any rural schools in East Dunbartonshire.

“I have asked MSP Fiona Macleod to raise this as a question as if the school is a rural one it would be better protected against closure by East Dunbartonshire Council.”

Baldernock currently receives around £110,700 subsidy from the Scottish Government for being rural.

Gordon Currie, head of education and community services at East Dunbartonshire Council said: “In accordance with the Scottish Government’s funding formula for schools, Baldernock Primary School is classed as a ‘small school’ and this is reflected in the general contribution made by the Scottish Government towards the cost of all council services.

“The council is currently working closely with Scottish Government to establish the classification of a number of schools in East Dunbartonshire in relation to the pending changes to Scottish Government’s rural schools legislation.

“Any future funding arrangements will therefore be determined by Scottish Government.”