Council slammed in placing request row

Lenzie Meadow Primary School
Lenzie Meadow Primary School

An angry parent is planning to take East Dunbartonshire Council to court after a school placing request for her son was turned down.

Julie Barnett recently moved from Milngavie to Lenzie’s Woodilee Estate and, prior to her family’s move, made placing requests for her three children to attend Lenzie Meadow Primary.

Her two oldest children’s requests were approved and Julie says that she was told that her youngest son’s ‘formal acceptance’ would follow in April.

But she was shocked when it was turned down, based on her address in Milngavie rather than that of her new home.

She explained: “The council’s failure to be fully transparent has denied me the opportunity to ensure that the best interests of ALL my children were at the heart of my decision making.

“As a parent I have now been left in a very difficult position.”

Julie also claims that the Woodilee Estate should be wholly in the catchment area for Lenzie Meadow and has discovered a map showing that in the days of Strathkelvin Regional Council the entire area WAS included in the former Lenzie Primary School catchment area.

She believes that the council failed to take into account the number of new houses being built in Woodilee when they chose to merge Lenzie and Lenzie Moss primaries.

She said: “There are a total of five other schools all closer in distance yet the catchment school is identified as Gartconner Primary which is based in Kirkintilloch.”

Ann Davie, Depute Chief Executive, Education, People & Business, said: “Unfortunately, due to the high demand for places from catchment children at Lenzie Meadow Primary School this year, we were unable to grant Ms Barnett’s youngest child a place at the school.

“Our placing request process is governed by the Education (Scotland) Act, which requires the council to formulate guidelines to be followed in the event of there being more placing requests than places available. The individual circumstances of each child is taken into account, to fairly and transparently allocated places to all children. The council cannot guarantee or provide assurances to any parent ahead of this process.

“Lenzie Meadow Primary School catchment area encompasses the catchment areas of the previous Lenzie and Lenzie Moss Primary Schools.

“Only part of the Woodilee Development is within that catchment area. This development covers an area of land which has, since the establishment of the council, been zoned to a number of catchment schools. These catchment allocations continued following the construction of the Woodilee Estate, and the council has been very clear which parts of the estate are associated with which primary school.”