SNP candidate hits out at East Dunbartonshire Council’s proposed changes to school admissions

Amy attended the public meeting at Bishopbriggs Academy on Monday
Amy attended the public meeting at Bishopbriggs Academy on Monday

The SNP’s election candidate in East Dunbartonshire has attacked the council’s proposed changes to school admissions.

Amy Callaghan said the plans were “unworkable and unfair” and is backing calls for a rethink after attending the recent public meeting on the consultation at Bishopbriggs Academy.

More than 3,000 people have signed a petition opposing the council’s proposals.

The proposed changes concern the way applications for children to enter primary and secondary education are prioritised.

Amy Callaghan said: “These proposals in their current form are unworkable and unfair to many people throughout East Dunbartonshire.

“I was delighted to attend the meeting at Bishopbriggs Academy this past week, hearing first hand the genuine concerns from parents across our community about these proposals. The council must examine this from both a short-term and long-term perspective, how this will impact on our community immediately and into the future.

“I am more than happy to stand up for those requiring a local champion to speak on their behalf. No child within the catchment area should risk being turned away from the school of their choice due to these proposals.”

Council depute chief executive Ann Davie responded to the criticism by saying: “It is important to remember that no decisions have been made and that the purpose of this extensive consultation is to gather views. There has been a large number of responses to date and a number of key issues have been raised.

“Officers have already amended three elements of the proposal in response to concerns raised by parents and other stakeholders and these changes were explained in detail to those in attendance at the meeting in Bishopbriggs Academy on Tuesday evening.

” As a result we have extended the consultation until Friday, January 10, and two additional public meetings are being held.”

“A report will be submitted to council once the consultation is complete which will incorporate all responses and final proposals for consideration by the council.

“The consultation page, with supporting documents and helpful FAQs will be available until Friday, January 10, and I would encourage parents/carers to have their say.”

This page can be found at  https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/council/consultations/school-admission-and-transfer-arrangements-primary-secondary-school

The council has also recently published consultation reports on secondary transfer arrangements for children, who live in the catchment areas of Craighead and Lennoxtown Primary Schools.

Parents and other interested parties have three weeks to view these and offer feedback  ahead of the special meeting of the council on December 19.

Children, who live in the catchment area of Craighead Primary in Milton of Campsie, should be zoned to Kirkintilloch High School as a non-denominational secondary school within East Dunbartonshire; this would be in addition to the current options of Kilsyth Academy, in North Lanarkshire and St Ninian’s High School in East Dunbartonshire.

Children, who live in the catchment area of Lennoxtown Primary in Lennoxtown, should be zoned to Lenzie Academy as a non-denominational secondary school within East Dunbartonshire; this would be in addition to the current options of Kilsyth Academy, in North Lanarkshire and St Ninian’s High School in East Dunbartonshire.

Consultees were invited to complete an online survey and two public meetings were held.

Joint council leader, Andrew Polson (Conservative) said: “I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the consultation for sharing their views. I would urge interested parties to now review the consultation reports which are available on the council website.”

The other co-leader of the council, Vaughan Moody (Lib Dem) added:  “Stakeholders now have the opportunity to digest the contents of the consultation reports and speak to their local councillors about any issues prior to the special meeting of the council on Thursday, December 19.”

The consultation reports are available from https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/council/consultations/secondary-transfer-arrangements-children-within-lennoxtown-primary-catchment.