Ministers ‘call in’ schools merger plan

editorial image

Controversial plans to merge two primary schools in Bishopbriggs have been ‘called in’ by the Scottish Government - to the delight of campaigners.

The Government has requested further information and discussion on the proposals to merge Auchinairn and Woodhill primaries into a new building on the Woodhill site.

It means the council can’t proceed until the process is complete.

Save our School campaigners wrote to Scottish Ministers asking on them to ‘call in’ the decision.

The Scottish Government says it’s reason include that it is considered that the council may not have fully addressed the impact that closure of Auchinairn Primary will have on the local community.

It also says that the size of the new school may not reflect the combined roll of both schools and the projected growth in the area.

Ministers have also asked for clarification on why the proposed position on class sizes, as set out in the consultation report, was reversed once the consultation was closed and what steps the council took to inform those consulted on the proposal on this change of position.

Woodhill Primary mum Debbie Gribbon welcomed the decision. She said: “We are thrilled, but we are still in the limbo that it has been ‘called in’ pending further investigation.

“It’s very rare to get a ‘call in’. We feel like we are in a good position. This is significant. We presented a huge document going way back to the start of the process.

“There’s new legislation coming in the summer which means that if the Scottish Government chooses to ‘call in’ a decision, the council can’t proceed for another five years. That is what we are hoping for.”

Council leader Rhondda Geekie has pledged to work closely with the Scottish Government. She said: “We welcome the opportunity to explain in greater detail the educational benefits that we and Education Scotland believe will come from these proposals.

“What we are proposing is a big step for the communities involved and what we all have in common is that we want to get it right to ensure the best possible future education for the young people in this area.”

Meanwhile, plans to merge Lenzie and Lenzie Moss primaries on the Lenzie Moss site has been given the go-ahead.