June 23 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


St Joseph’s parents vow to fight on after plan setback

By Amanda Connelly

Disappointed parents at Milngavie’s only Catholic school have vowed to continue fighting to save the primary from closure after the Scottish Government rejected their proposals.

The government announced on June 15 that it would not back the parents’ bid to have St Joseph’s Primary ran as a community-led school.

“We are very disappointed that the Scottish Government is not supporting our proposals to keep St Joseph’s in Milngavie,” chair of the St Joseph’s Parent Council Helen Williams said. “After sitting on our proposals for more than two years, it would have been nice to get a phone call from John Swinney himself instead of an anonymous civil servant.

“The Education Secretary ought to know that he won’t improve education by allowing good schools to close.

“All we were asking for was a pilot to prove that a community-led school could work successfully. This is a lost opportunity for everyone and time is running out.

“We believe that our children have a right to a Catholic education in their own area. Nobody supports the plan to send our children to Bearsden and now the council is saying they might not even provide buses for our children to travel to the new school. They need to look at the whole thing again.”

Plans were given to the government in February 2015, with full backing from the school’s parent council, but it has taken over two years for a decision to be reached.

“The success of Jordanhill in Glasgow shows that giving parents a bigger say in schools can help raise standards,” St Joseph’s parent Paula Speirs said. “We don’t understand why the Scottish Government won’t let us do the same in Milngavie.

“However, our campaign was always about saving our school rather than getting involved in bigger debates about Scottish education. That is still our priority and we are going to keep on fighting.

“We have a new administration on East Dunbartonshire Council who can make new choices. We have already met with our MP Jo Swinson and we will be going back to the council to put our case to them again. Since our campaign began the situation in Milngavie has changed totally, the population is growing and we need more school and early years places not fewer.”



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