SCHOOLS could be closed in East Dunbartonshire – that is the admission from council leaders as the biggest shake-up in years heads for the district.
Falling rolls and decaying buildings have prompted the council to consult on the future of the primary school estate.
Council leader Rhondda Geekie has insisted there are currently no plans to close schools, but admitted that there could be closures depending on the outcome of the consultation.
Two years ago the council brought forward a list of potential closures. However, the controversial plans were scrapped.
A new report for last Thursday’s full council meeting says there is an “over-provision of accommodation in the primary sector, with schools operating significantly under occupancy across the whole estate”.
Primary schools in Kirkintilloch and surrounding villages are 46 per cent under occupied, in Lenzie it’s 25 per cent and in Bishopbriggs, 39 per cent.
The under-occupancy is expected to get worse by 2020.
In Kirkintilloch, the school with the highest under-occupancy rate is Oxgang at 59 per cent, while Lenzie Primary is 35 per cent.
Wester Cleddens Primary in Bishopbriggs is under occupied by 65 per cent – the highest in the area.
The report says the consultation will consider options for replacing the current aged school estate with modern, well-designed facilities.
Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “We’ve no idea what decisions will be made. We will consult with people to see what they think.
“If information comes back to suggest mergers or closures there will be another consultation process after that.
“We will be looking at every school and what is best for our children.”
A range of stakeholders, including head teachers, teachers, parents, parent council forums, young people and trade unions will all be consulted.
The entire process is expected to last until September next year.
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