School’s future is under threat

Baldernock Primary

Baldernock Primary

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The future of a primary school is under threat after education chiefs confirmed they were revisiting a proposal for a merger.

East Dunbartonshire Council first revealed its ‘preferred position’ to merge Baldernock Primary with Torrance Primary in March last year.

But the local authority was unable to act until the Scottish Government’s Commission on the Delivery of Rural Education had delivered its findings.

It was one of a number of prospective school mergers to counter falling school rolls.

Last month many of the Commission’s recommendations were implemented by the Scottish Government and are now enshrined in legislation. The Children & Young People’s Act 2014 requires councils to carry out a number of preliminary activities to decide whether a closure proposal is the most appropriate way forward.

East Dunbartonshire Council will give the reasons for the closure proposal, discuss options with the school community, consider all reasonable alternatives, consider the likely educational benefits of the proposal and the impact on the community and consider the likely impact of travel arrangements associated with the proposal.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie, said: “Almost 18 months on from deciding that our preferred position was for a merger we are able to begin community engagement and set out on the route outlined by the Scottish Government.

We will now reassess that position, looking carefully at all options and their impact on pupils, school staff, local people and the entire school community.”

Council officers will report back to councillors with a recommendation on the way forward.

Councillor Geekie added: “We are reviewing our Primary School estate across the council and have already taken tough decisions to improve learning environments for our young people while addressing the serious issues of under occupancy and inefficient buildings.

“The work we are about to do to look at Baldernock and Torrance primaries will help us decide what is best in educational terms for the pupils involved.

“It will also help us to ensure that every penny of public money is working as hard as it possibly can within the education service.”