Schools campaigners hit out

Flashback: Save our schools campaigners held a demo outside the council HQ earlier this year.
Flashback: Save our schools campaigners held a demo outside the council HQ earlier this year.

Parents battling to save a closure-threatened primary school have hit out at Scottish Governmnent ministers for failing to step in.

They claim St Agatha’s Primary, in Kirkintilloch, has been treated “unfairly and unjustly” compared to St Joseph’s School in Milngavie.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s decision to close St Joseph’s was called in for scrutiny by ministers.

But they have declined to do the same for St Agatha’s, which the council plans to merge with St Flannan’s to form a new-build school on the 
St Flannan’s site.

Ian Bowman of the Save Our Schools Action Group said: “This situation stinks.

“It is unfair and unjust that the pupils of St Agatha’s Primary School have not been given the same consideration as the children of St Joseph’s.

“They are identical. This is a serious misjudgment by Scottish ministers.

“I am convinced the parents and children of St Joseph’s have been given preferential treatment over St Agatha’s.

“Something must be done before it is too late and this great wee school at the heart of our community is lost.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Local authorities are responsible for decisions about the management of the school estate within their area.

“Where an authority proposes to close a school, it must follow the processes and procedures set out in the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 before doing so.

“The 2010 Act also gives ministers powers to call in a closure proposal for further investigation if there is evidence to suggest an authority has failed in a significant regard to comply with the statutory obligations placed upon it.

“After careful consideration of East Dunbartonshire Council’s proposals for St Agatha’s and St Flannan’s Primary Schools and the representations received, 
ministers have concluded that the council fulfilled its statutory obligations and consequently they did not issue a call-in notice for this proposal.”