School closures: the fightback begins - Bearsden protest against axe plans

Bearsden Primary, children in need'Photo Emma Mitchell'16/11/12
Bearsden Primary, children in need'Photo Emma Mitchell'16/11/12

A CAMPAIGN has been started to save a historic school from the axe.

Parents handed out leaflets drumming up support outside performances of Bearsden Primary’s Christmas show on Wednesday.

They fear East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC) want to wipe the school - which celebrated its centenary last year - off the map, and merge it with Castlehill Primary.

The merger is one of a raft of controversial proposals councillors are looking at as they review the primary schools estate.

A crunch meeting will be held on Monday evening where - as well as the Bearsden Primary proposal - the council will look at possibly merging Westerton and Colquhoun Park, Milngavie, Clober and Baldernock and St Andrew’s and St Joseph’s.

Councillors could also decide to merge Torrance and Baldernock primaries - and while no final decision will be taken on Monday evening, many parents fear that despite a consultation process, decisions have, in effect, already been made - pointing to the fact that retaining Bearsden Primary on its current site is not even an option.

A letter handed out to Bearsden Primary parents stated: “Generations of Bearsden children have benefited from the excellent standard of education provided by the dedicated teaching and support staff at this much loved school at the heart of our community.

“As well as depriving our children of the right to continue to benefit from a fantastic educational success story, we believe a move away from the cross will hurt the community as a whole.

“It will affect the viability of local businesses at a time when the recession is already placing them under great strain and will create congestion on our roads, especially at the top of the village.

“With the proposed closure of Bearsden Primary, many more parents will be forced into their cars to drive and the school run for nearly all schools in the area will be concentrated on a small area around Bearsden Academy.

“This is more than just a fantastic school. It has been at the heart of Bearsden for over 100 years and we believe that the many excellent benefits it provides shopuld be available for generations to come.”

EDC has said that it needs to review its primary schools estate in light of a projected fall in school rolls and it order to make sure all schools are fit for purpose for the decades ahead.

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