Schools in Milngavie and Bearsden face major shake-up

FALLING rolls could see primary schools across East Dunbartonshire facing a major shake-up.

Plans to consult on the district’s primary school estate will go before councillors at a full council meeting this evening (Thursday).

Council leader Rhondda Geekie has insisted there are currently no plans to close schools, but admitted that there could be closures depending on the outcome of the consultation.

A report for the meeting says there is an “over provision of accommodation in the primary sector, with schools operating significantly under occupancy across the whole estate”.

Primary schools in Milngavie and Baldernock are 40 per cent under occupied and in Bearsden and Torrance it’s 30 per cent.

RISE

The figures are expected to rise by 2020.

St Joseph’s Primary, in Milngavie, is under occupied by 56 per cent - the highest in the area.

And in Bearsden, Castlehill Primary has a 49 per cent under occupancy rate.

The report says that the consultation will consider options for replacing the current aged school estate with modern, well designed facilities.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “We are in a more positive position now with over £3million set aside to invest in our schools.

“And we will be applying to Scottish Futures Trust for a new build school, which is not site specific.”

She added: “We’ve no idea what decisions will be made. We will consult with people to see what they think.

“If information comes back to suggest mergers or closures there will be another consultation process after that.

“We will be looking at every school and what is best for our children.”

If councillors agree to moving forward with the consultation they will take part in a seminar in August/September and public meetings will be held in each community.

A range of stakeholders, including head teachers, teachers, parents, parent council forums, young people and trade unions will all be consulted.

The process is expected to last until September next year.