Parents angry over children being “dragged into” school consultation

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Parents have accused education chiefs of “pitching” primary school merger plans to pupils without mums’ and dads’ permission.

As part of a statutory consultation into the merger of Woodhill Primary and Auchinairn Primary, current pupils are being asked to fill in a questionnaire.

But before the document was circulated council officers visited the schools to give what parents have described as a “sales pitch”.

Angry Woodhill mum Debbie Gribbon explained: “To show young children a shiny new school and to make promises of new flat screen monitors and exciting new equipment is totally irresponsible, especially when questions regarding exactly why the merger was taking place were fobbed off as unanswerable by the spokeswoman present.”

She added: “I was furious to find out that they decided to pitch their merger plans to my children during their school day without my permission.”

Head of Education Gordon Currie said: “We apologise if parents were unaware of the work being done with pupils on the statutory consultation. Action was taken to remedy this and the school has issued information to parents about the meeting with pupils. Consulting with pupils is part of the statutory consultation process and is required by Scottish legislation.

“Discussions involved giving the children a short introduction to the proposal and the chance to ask questions.

“Experienced education officers designed the consultation and visited the school to talk to the pupils. Pupils were given a neutral and impartial view of what is being proposed for their school.

“Legislation requires us to treat each group of school users equally and pupils are an important group who may have different concerns from that of other users.

“Feedback from all groups will be published and reported to the council as required by the legislation.”

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