Schools merger plans still being scrutinised

Photograph Jamie Forbes 24.1.14 BISHOPBRIGGS. Auchinairn Primary School.
Photograph Jamie Forbes 24.1.14 BISHOPBRIGGS. Auchinairn Primary School.

Scottish Government ministers are continuing investigations into plans to merge two East Dunbartonshire primary schools.

At the end of February they decided to ‘call in’ the council’s decision to merge Auchinairn and Woodhill primaries into a new building on the Woodhill site in Bishopbriggs.

The Government says its reasons include 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.

It’s understood a decision following a ‘call in’ can typically take a couple of months, although it can take longer.

The matter was discussed at last week’s meeting of Bishopbriggs Community Council. The community council had previously raised concerns and said that closing Auchinairn Primary would rip the heart out of the community.

A spokesperson for the group said: “The community council acknowledges the issues that the community has raised regarding the merger are the same as those mentioned in the ‘call in’.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Ministers are currently investigating all available material relating to the decision in order to determine whether or not to give their consent.

“Until these investigations are concluded and ministers have issued their determination to East Dunbartonshire Council, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

Gordon Currie, the council’s head of education, said: “The council is working with the Scottish Government to provide information as quickly as possible and we look forward to hearing their thoughts on this matter in due course.”