Letters to the Editor – August 28, 2013

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READERS have their say on the issues which matter.

Schools mergers

On behalf of the parents forum of St Agatha’s Primary School can I firstly thank you and your colleagues for their impartial and balanced reporting of the current council administration’s primary school closure programme.

The current proposal seeks to close both St Flannan’s PS and St Agatha’s PS and open a new school on the current St Flannan’s site.

If the proposal is passed after the formal consultation process the children of St Flannan’s will have to endure years of disruption caused by a large construction site on their current sports field.

The new school will have a new name and identity and the history and traditions of two local schools will be lost forever.

The council have argued that the closure programme would improve the educational experience of the children of both schools without any tangible evidence.

They have also talked a lot about the under occupancy figure in our schools whilst at the same time removing schools from the closure program with comparable statistics.

If we used the same assumption to calculate the new school, this would also appear to be under occupied.

St Agatha’s Parent Forum look forward to the formal consultation process with the hope that it will be open and transparent.

I call on all parents and local stakeholders to respond to the new consultation proposal to ensure the council don’t risk the future of our children for short tern cost savings.

John Watson

Chair Parent Forum

St Agatha’s PS

School ties

At this time of year our children are filled with hope and joy as they return to school.

Our brave P1s taking the first fledgling step into a brave new world, with proud parents holding back tears.

The P7s strutting into school, knowing that at last the six years of waiting are over, they are the top of the tree.

Parents should be happy and preparing to support their loved ones through a year of tears, tantrums, laughter and learning.

This normal picture is not continuing this year for us; thanks to the proposals brought forward by East Dunbartonshire Council.

Instead of looking ahead to the happy school days of our children, we are now living in fear that the schools we have chosen for our children will be permanently closed or scarred by the ill-thought out proposed closure of St Agatha’s and St Flannan’s.

The closure of St Agatha’s will not only affect the parent body of St Agatha’s itself, but will have a lasting detrimental effect on Gartconner.

The ties that have been built by our two schools sitting side by side for the past 40 years have created a climate where the children do not understand the meaning of sectarianism. St Agatha’s does not deserve to be closed, other schools that are less suitable, have lower occupancy and do not provide the same unique opportunities as St Agatha’s have not been put forward for closure.

We cannot see the fairness in this. Gartconner will lose a close member of its family if this school was to go, and it is almost inconceivable for the parent body that Gartconner will remain the same without its sister.

We also find it incredibly sad that the proposals brought forward to close St Flannan’s will mean that there will no longer be a parish school with the same name as the parish church.

The consultation launched by the council means that St Agatha’s will no longer exist, St Flannan’s will no longer exist and a completely new school, with a new name and identity, will be formed.

Kirkintilloch will be a poorer place without a St Flannan’s parish school.

We, representing the views of our parents, believe that a consultation should be launched to investigate a formal joint campus between St Agatha’s and Gartconner Primary Schools.

The savings made by this arrangement would be enough to fund a new smaller (as our St Agatha’s pupils will not need to transfer) St Flannan’s parish school.

This will allow Gartconner and St Agatha’s to continue and will ensure the future of St Flannan’s so that this name will not be lost to education in Kirkintilloch.

John Watson and David Bauld

Chairs of St Agatha’s Primary School and Gartconner

Primary School Parent Councils

Charity event

The Ronald McDonald House at Yorkhill Hospital is looking for 50 brave souls to take part in our first ever Bungee Jump at Killiecrankie in Perthshire on Sunday, October 6.

We provide free accommodation to over 600 families each year, whilst their child is treated at the hospital – please come along and help us raise vital funds for this facility.

You must be 14 years or older, and under 18.9 stone in weight to take part.

Call Allison at the House on 0141 201 0782 or email allisonmckillop@btconnect.com

Minimum sponsorship £140.

Allison McKillop

Fundraising Co-Ordinator

Yorkhill family House Ltd is a registerd charity in Scotland

Charity Number SC023199

* What’s your view? E-mail kirkyherald@jnscotland.co.uk

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