Thousands sign petition over East Dunbartonshire school catchment controversy

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An online petition raising concerns over plans by East Dunbartonshire Council to change the school admission process has collected more than 3,000 signatures within days.

The petition, set up by a new community Facebook group called EDC Catchment Changes, urges local parents to make their voices heard.

Parents are furious over the council’s proposals for school admissions and transfer of pupils from primary to secondary school.

They say they will result in children not being able to attend the school in their own catchment area.

If a school is oversubscribed, places would be given first to pupils with siblings at the school then to children with additional support needs, followed by distance from the school.

A school is considered oversubscribed when the number of pupils in the 
catchment area exceeds 
available places.

The online petition is 
urging the council to:

“Guarantee all catchment children a place in their local secondary school.

“Say no to transporting kids to schools in different towns further away.

“Remove the unfair / discriminatory distance criteria in their proposals.”

Several hundred people also attended a public meeting last week in Bearsden 
Academy as part of the 
public consultation over the 
proposals, to ask questions and voice concerns.

Ann Davie, Depute Chief Executive - Education, People & Business, said: “It is important to remember that no decisions have been made and that the purpose of this extensive consultation is to gather views.

“The public meeting in Bearsden last week was an opportunity for officers to respond to questions from local people and listen to their views.

“I’d like to thank everyone who came along. There is another public meeting in Bishopbriggs Academy on Monday, November 25, at 6.30pm which I hope will also be well attended.

“We are aware of the online petition regarding the proposal to offer redirection to another local school for children who cannot be accommodated within the catchment school.

“However, it must be stressed that no decisions have been made and we will consider all responses in order to formulate final proposals for consideration by the council.

“The consultation page, with supporting documents and helpful FAQs is available until Friday, December 6.

“I would encourage 
parents/carers to have their say.”

Visit https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/council/consultations/school-admission-and-transfer-arrangements-primary-secondary-school.