Victory in school fight

Craigdhu Primary, Milngavie, parents celebrating victory'Photo by Emma Mitchell'12/3/13
Craigdhu Primary, Milngavie, parents celebrating victory'Photo by Emma Mitchell'12/3/13

PARENTS at Craigdhu Primary School are celebrating a victory this week after Milngavie Community Council (MCC) promised to withdraw its letter to the council which suggested that the school should be merged with Clober Primary.

They were furious with MCC for putting their school in the firing line as up until then Craigdhu had not been under threat of closure in East Dunbartonshire Council’s plans for primary schools.

The convener of the community council, Fiona Risk, wrote to IBP Strategy and Research, the independent company carrying out the consultation process for East Dunbartonshire Council’s primary school improvement programme, at the end of January to argue for the merger but parents complained that the community had not been properly consulted first.

Parents set up a Safeguard Craigdhu Primary campaign group and collected 500 signatures within a month from people in the community who opposed the school being closed.

Campaigners then attended a meeting of MCC on Wednesday, March 6 when members voted unanimously to withdraw their previous letter and send a new one to support all schools in Milngavie.

Liz Marshall, a Craigdhu Primary School parent, said: “The discussions were heated and we voiced our strong objections to their letter.

“Craigdhu Primary is the most fit for purpose school in Milngavie, with no outstanding repairs and all of the features required to deliver the Curriculum For Excellence.

“It makes no financial or educational sense to close Craigdhu and in East Dunbartonshire’s offical report, dated 12th December 2012, any closure or merger involving the school was deemed ‘not viable’.

“The role of a community council is to represent the views of the community and our petition showed that a large proportion of their community want to see the school remain open at the Craigdhu site.

“I am hugely relieved that MCC has agreed to withdraw its letter.

“It worried me that their actions would cause schools to be pitted against each other.

“The community of Milngavie should be standing shoulder to shoulder, united against the council’s flawed proposals and calling for all four fantastic schools to remain untouched by closures or mergers.

“We’d like to thank Mrs Risk and members of MCC for taking our objections into consideration and acting upon them in a satisfactory manner and Councillors Gibbons and Gotts for attending the meeting and listening to our points.”

Fiona Risk said: “Following representations made by a large number of parents from Craigdhu Primary School at its meeting last week MCC agreed to revise its response to the primary schools improvement programme proposals.

“Once the minutes of the meeting, which will contain details of what was agreed should be included in the revised response, have been approved by the community council at its next meeting a revised letter of response will be issued.”