Council catchment area revision plans “no slight” on Kilsyth Academy, says Bishopbriggs councillor

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A local councillor is defending East Dunbartonshire Council’s proposals to revise the catchment areas for two primary schools, amid claims from North Lanarkshire councillors that the proposals are ‘disrespectful’ to Kilsyth Academy.

The plans, currently out for formal consultation, would see parents of children at Lennoxtown Primary and Craighead Primary in Milton of Campsie having an additional option of Lenzie Academy and Kirkintilloch High respectively from August 2020.

Under an historic agreement, Kilsyth Academy in North Lanarkshire is currently the only non-denominational secondary school option with free bus travel for parents in those villages.

In a recent report in the Herald, two Kilsyth councillors claimed the plans were ‘disrespectful’ to the staff and pupils of Kilsyth Academy.

But Lib Dem Councillor Gary Pews, whose Bishopbriggs North and Campsie ward takes in Lennoxtown and Milton of Campsie, says that is simply not the case.

He said: ‘’I suppose the Kilsyth councillors are standing up for their constituents, so they won’t be surprised that I am doing the same for mine.

‘’I regularly attend the meetings of the parent councils and the community councils in Milton of Camspie and Lennoxtown, and one of the first things I was asked after being elected in 2017 was if I could exert some pressure to have the Kilsyth arrangement reviewed.

‘’Parents who pay their council tax to East Dunbartonshire simply wanted to have the option of sending their children to a zoned non-denominational secondary school in East Dunbartonshire.

‘’This is not a slight on Kilsyth Academy, which it must be stressed will remain an option for parents who still wish to send their children there. But the fact is that parents have been voting with their children’s feet on this issue, and have been increasingly choosing the only free travel option currently available in East Dunbartonshire, St. Ninian’s High in Kirkintilloch.

‘’The proposals to extend that choice have been warmly welcomed in Milton of Campsie and Lennoxtown, and I am glad to have played a part, with total cross-party support on the council, in driving them forward.’’