Fight is on to save primary school

St Josephs church with save st josephs primary banner'Photo Emma Mitchell'29/7/13

St Josephs church with save st josephs primary banner'Photo Emma Mitchell'29/7/13

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A Freedom of Information request to the council has revealed that St Joseph’s Primary is the fastest growing school in the district.

The school roll has increased by over a quarter in the past three years - 26.6 per cent.

Out of nearly 50 schools in East Dunbartonshire 24 have rising rolls yet the council is using falling rolls as one of its main justifications for closing and merging schools.

Despite strong local opposition at the informal consultation stage the council’s proposal to close St Joseph’s will go to statutory consultation later this month.

Laureen McIntyre, St Joseph’s parent council chair, said: “I simply do not understand why St Joseph’s is being targeted for closure when we are the fastest growing school.

“These figures really should make councillors think twice before pushing ahead with such an unpopular and controversial closure.

“St Joseph’s has been an integral part of the Milngavie community for well over 100 years and we shall not be moved.”

Helen Williams, St Joseph’s parent council vice-chair, said: “Why is the only Catholic school in Milngavie being singled out when our roll is rising faster than any other school in the area? It isn’t rational and it’s not fair.

“Our children have a right to be educated in their own community, it doesn’t make sense to send them somewhere else. Tthey could look at alternatives such as a shared campus with another school or a community hub.”

John Simmons, director of education/social work, said: “While the school roll has increased in the last three years, it is expected to remain at around 140 pupils for the next 10 years. Even with the recent increase, the school is still 52 per cent under occupied. Specific detailed proposals will be published near the end of August for public consultation.”