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Parents and pupils hold ‘Save Our School’ demo

Parents and pupils at an under-threat school demonstrated outside East Dunbartonshire Council headquarters last week.

Councillors are set to meet on May 15 to decide whether to proceed with a merger between St Agatha’s and St Flannan’s primaries, in Kirkintilloch, with a new build school on the St Flannan’s site.

St Agatha’s ‘Save Our School’ campaigners gathered outside the council offices on Thursday to express their opposition.

One mum-of-three said: “My son is currently thriving at the school. Not just academically but socially and physically.

“From day one we have asked the council what the educational benefits of the merger would be.

“Now we are this far down the line and we still have nothing concrete to say why it would be good for our kids.

“We are completely in the dark about what is going to happen and we’ve been given nothing to win us over.”

In a recently-published consultation report it was revealed that, of 32 respondants related to St Agatha’s, 30 were against the plans, though a similar percentage majority of St Flannan’s parents were in favour; with the Catholic Church and Education Scotland not objecting to the merger in principle.

A spokesperson for St Agatha’s parent council called on education chiefs to explain the educational benefits and called on councillors to rethink the merger. He also accused the council of “bullying” tactics. The spokesperson said: “This is a controversial proposal, our parents have indicated throughout this process that they are not in favour of merger.

“It is time for councillors to stop ignoring us and to start listening.”

Gordon Currie, the council’s director of education, said: “We welcome all representations on our Primary School Improvement Programme and consider them fully in making our decisions, including those made by the St Agatha’s group on Thursday evening.”

He added that the proposals had been made on the basis of “significant” under-occupancy, adding that St Agatha’s was 54 per cent under-occupied and St Flannan’s is 48 per cent under-occupied.

 

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