Parent power school pledge

St Joseph's Primary School, Milngavie.
St Joseph's Primary School, Milngavie.

Parents will play a pivotal role in many key aspects of the new school to be formed from a controversial primaries merger, says the council.

An interim parent council has been set up as the latest step in the plan to close Milngavie’s St Joseph’s primary school in order to merge with St Andrew’s Primary on a new site in Bearsden.

And it will have a say on everything from the appointment of the head teacher to the design of the school uniform.

That was the upbeat message from the council as it continues to lay the foundations of a new denominational school to replace what had been separate schools serving the Milngavie and Bearsden communities.

The merger scheme was criticised by the Archdiocese of Glasgow, which argued that it would mean the effective end of Catholic education in Milngavie.

However the council said it had been forced to address the issue of under-occupancy, and was investing heavily in what it considered the best option for the future.

In the consultation on the merger 87 per cent of 500 responses opposed the merger, and the council’s SNP group tried unsuccessfully to stop it going ahead.

Now the council says the new interim parent council is a positive development which will give parents an important role in how the new school is run.

It will be involved in the recruitment of the head teacher and senior staff for the new school, and will work with the head teacher and RC Church to describe the vision, aims and values of the school.

It will also liaise with other parents and the wider community throughout the design and development of the new school and beyond.

And it will lead consultation with the school community on the new name, uniform and insignia.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “We recognise the vital contribution that parents make to the life of a school and that is why it is so important that we now have an Interim Parent Council set up.”

She added: “Successful schools have supportive and active parents and as we move forward with the development of this new school the Interim Parent Council will have its say.”