Campaigner fights on to save school from closure

FLASHBACK: Pupils and parents staged a demo earlier this year outside council headquarters
FLASHBACK: Pupils and parents staged a demo earlier this year outside council headquarters

Save Our Schools campaigner Ian Bowman says he wants the Scottish Government to “come clean” on the decision to close St Agatha’s Primary.

Parents and supporters claim the Kirkintilloch school has been treated “unfairly and unjustly” compared to St Joseph’s 
Primary in Milngavie.

Mr Bowman has now written to Scottish Government ministers asking for all documentation on the decisions to close both schools to be forwarded to him under the Freedom of Information Act.

He and protesters are furious East Dunbartonshire Council’s decision to close St Joseph’s was called in for scrutiny by the government – but it declined to do the same for St Agatha’s.

He told the Kirkintilloch Herald: “As I have said before, this situation stinks.

“I have more information from Scottish ministers which does not clarify things.

“I want them to come clean on the issue and have asked for the full file under Freedom of Information.

“I am convinced the parents and children of St Joseph’s have been given preferential treatment over St Agatha’s.”

Mr Bowman also wrote to First Minister Alex Salmond outlying his concerns.

In a reply last week, Syed Kerbalai of the government’s School Infrastructure Unit said both cases were “handled separately and each was considered on its own merits.”

He added in the letter that Scottish ministers may only issue a call-in notice if it appears to them the education authority may have failed to comply with the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010:

He said: “In the case of St Agatha’s and St Flannan’s Primary Schools, concerns were raised through representations to ministers, including your own.

“However, following investigation, ministers concluded no significant failure on behalf of the council to comply with the requirements 
imposed on it.”

He added: “I recognise you may disagree with ministers’ final assessment, but I can assure you the decision was looked at impartially 
and following careful consideration of all the relevant issues.”

The council plans to merge St Agatha’s with St Flannan’s, to form a new-build school on the St Flannan’s site.