A Conservative MSP has hit out at East Dunbartonshire Council for “failing to listen” to teachers over changes to start of term arrangements for P1 pupils.
The council wants pupils to start education with full school days rather than half days for the first two and a half weeks, from this August.
But West of Scotland Tory MSP Maurice Corry said: “Since last week’s article in the Herald, my mailbox has been full of mail from parents upset by the council’s decision. Many parents were completely unaware of the consultation.
“To top it off, zero per cent of teachers who responded in Milngavie, Bearsden, Bishopbriggs and Lenzie agreed with the change – these are the people with the greatest knowledge of what is best for children and none of them believed this change was in their interest.
“It is astounding the council did not listen to teachers. School should not be seen as a childcare option that works best for parents but an important learning environment that works best for children.
“It is understandable many parents are in agreement with teachers that their children will be at a detriment because of this change.”
But Councillor Andrew Polson, Conservative joint leader of the council, said: “With careful school management and a focus on play-based learning to ensure a smooth transition, the increased hours will give children the best start to school life. We will work with teachers to monitor the new arrangements and listen to feedback from them and parents/carers.”
Councillor Vaughan Moody, Joint Leader added: “Early Years establishments let children’s parents/carers know about the consultation which ran in September. An online survey was heavily promoted through centres and on social media. More than 1,000 surveys were completed, with a majority (58.7 per cent) in favour of the full day start.”