BY SCO Admin | April 30 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Archbishop reiterates opposition to Catholic school closures ahead of council meeting

In a letter to council leader, Archbishop Tartaglia calls for a rethink of decision to close St Joseph’s Primary Milngavie, and St Andrew’s Primary Bearsden

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia has reiterated his opposition to the closure of two Catholic schools ahead of move by an SNP councillor on East Dunbartonshire Council to force a rethink on the decision.

At a meeting to be held tonight, Ian Mackay, the SNP group leader,  will raise a motion calling for the suspension of the planned closure of St Joseph’s Primary School, Milngavie, and St Andrew’s Primary School in Bearsden.

Last December, the Scottish Government ended years of protests from parents at St Joseph’s when they decided not to overrule the council’s decision to close the schools and merge them in a new-build on the current St Andrew’s site. In February, First Minster Nicola Sturgeon spoke about the school in parliament and later met with parents. Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson used her conference speech this year to oppose the closure plans.

In his letter to Council Leader Rhondda Geekie, the Archbishop of Glasgow said he wished to remind the council of the archdiocese’s opposition to the proposal and, in particular, its wish to see the continuation of Catholic education within the community of Milngavie.

“For these reasons, I strongly urge the Council to re-consider this proposal,” he writes. “The Archdiocese of Glasgow will be glad to participate in new discussions on the future of these two schools.”

East Dunbartonshire council is controlled by a coalition of the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties. The SNP are in opposition.

The new £9 million pound school is currently set to open for the 2016/2017 term.

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