Parents urge MSPs to help

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Campaigners trying to save St Joseph’s Primary School in Milngavie from closure are taking their fight to the Scottish Parliament.

Parents will hand over a 30,000 word dossier to the Scottish Government today (Thursday, June 5) asking them to ‘call-in’ the decision to close the 140-year-old school and move the pupils to a new school in Bearsden. They argue that the council’s proposal is discriminatory and should be overturned by ministers.

St Joseph’s Parent Council Chair Laureen McIntyre said: “We want to tell MSPs personally how important our school is to our community.

“Our submission clearly shows that councillors have failed to follow their own procedures and based their decision on factually inaccurate information. We believe that when ministers look at the evidence they will tell them to think again.

“East Dunbartonshire Council cannot be allowed to discriminate against Catholic families in Milngavie.

“We are not second class citizens and our children have the same right to be educated at a local school as anyone else’s.”

Gordon Currie, director of education & children’s services, said: “The information provided to councillors, including rolls and occupancy, has been accurate from the outset and these figures stand up to scrutiny.

“Far from discriminating against Catholic education, this council is widely recognised for its investment and support of religious education in Catholic schools and remains committed to providing high quality denominational education.

“The number of children in Catholic education in Bearsden and Milngavie has fallen significantly in recent years and continues to fall.

“St Joseph’s roll has dropped 23 per cent in the last decade.

“This proposal, to provide one modern, well-equipped school to replace two very under-occupied schools, represents a significant investment in catholic education of almost £9m.

“The Scottish Government’s consideration period takes about six weeks and we are working with the Scottish Government and await their findings.”