Council’s pledge to residents

Education chiefs have insisted they will listen to the local community before making a final decision on the future of a primary school.

The assurances from East Dunbartonshire Council came after save our school campaigners expressed their disappointment that Baldernock Primary was once again being threatened with the axe as part of the council’s Primary School Improvement Plan (PSIP).

The scheme has seen a number of cash-saving school mergers agreed – one of which was initially meant to be between Baldernock and Torrance primaries on the Torrance site.

It was abandoned, but the decision will now be revisited, which has angered parents who have vowed to save the school.

But Jacqui MacDonald, the council’s chief education officer, said that no final decision had been made to proceed.

She explained: “As part of our PSIP we are looking across the council area to address issues of under-occupancy, aging buildings and rising 
educational costs.

“In March 2013 the council’s preferred position was to merge Baldernock Primary with Torrance Primary, but do nothing until the Commission on the Delivery of Rural Education had delivered its findings.

“Now that many of the Commission’s recommendations have been implemented by the Scottish Government and are enshrined in legislation, we are looking again at these schools.

“In line with that legislation, we are about to embark on community engagement during which we will set out the reasons that the council might consider the proposal to close Baldernock Primary, and discuss all possible impacts with the entire school community. Reasonable alternatives to closure and their impacts will also be discussed, and we will work with community in Baldernock to decide if closure is an appropriate option.

“We have never ignored the local community and they will continue to be at the heart of talks.

“Following this reassessment a report will be brought before councillors who will decide whether or not to move on with a formal closure proposal.”