Glasgow Save our Schools Campaign

Monday, March 13, 2006

Mothers Know Better than Education Bosses - Whats good for their kids

Evening times story on sit in PARENTS from three Glasgow primaries targeted for closure are holding a sit-in for up to three nights in a last-ditch attempt to keep the schools open. More than 50 mothers and fathers whose children attend Carnwadric in the south side, St Edmund's in Pollok, and Dowanhill Primary in the west end are occupying all three buildings over the weekend. They arrived yesterday afternoon as the bell rang to finish lessons. Carnwadric parents intend to stay for three nights whilst the others will spend part of the weekend there. The sit-ins are being staged by campaigners of Save Our Schools, who are fighting Glasgow City Council's decision to close the schools under its pre-12 education strategy. Pauline Gilgallon, a mother-of-three and chairwoman of Carnwadric Primary School Board and leader of the SOS campaign, said: "We hope to be there until Monday morning to raise awareness. "Even though Glasgow City Council has rubber-stamped the proposals, we have found so many flaws in the council's consultation. "Nobody here with children at Carnwadric Primary wanted to move, yet the council went full steam ahead with it." In the west end, up to a dozen mothers occupied Dowanhill Primary in Havelock Street, waving Save Dowanhill banners as they took over the school. Among them was Heather Anderson, whose daughter Christina, 7, is at the school, while four-year-old son Calum attends the nursery. She said: "Perhaps a lot of parents think we are at the end of the road and the school will close, but we hope parents realise it is not the end."

Education bosses want to shut Dowanhill, along with Hillhead, Kelvinhaugh and Willowbank primaries and Dowanhill and Willows nurseries, and merge them at a new Hillhead Primary, to be built in Otago Street.

In the south side, it plans to merge Carnwadric with Arden Primary at a new building in Arden. bbbbbb In Pollok, the council wants to close St Edmund's and merge it with St Marnock's. However, this would mean youngsters would have to cross a busy road, which parents claim is too dangerous a route for kids to walk.

The parents were also furious when it was revealed StEdmund's would not close this year but, instead, would house pupils from Cartvale, Govan's special needs school, for two years.

Now at least seven schools, including St Kevin's Primary in Langmuir Road, Bargeddie, which is also due to close, have joined the Save Our Schools campaign.

St Kevin's, just outside the city boundary and run by North Lanarkshire Council, was also due to be occupied by parents this weekend. But the sit-in was cancelled because of increased security. bbbbb Parents said the high police presence around the school was terrifying children. bbbbbbb A council spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the sit-ins. The decisions on the future of these schools was decided at the education services committee meeting on February 2 and was agreed by councillors following a full public consultation."

Protesters from St Edmund's have handed a petition to the Scottish Parliament calling for an inquiry into the council's consultation process. bbbbbbb To coincide with the next meeting of the petitions committee on April 19, busloads of parents are to travel to Edinburgh and stage a protest outside the parliament.


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