Glasgow Save our Schools Campaign

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Comment from Burgh Angel:
hi ...well GCC at it's 'selling the family silver ' again: ELDER park PRIMARY SCHOOL IN linthouse has been flogged for only 265k...absolutely no communtiy consultation about what to do with the building when the school closes in Dec 09, no, GCC have just sold it, and now QUARRIERS WANT TO DEMOLISH THIS MUCH LOVED LOCAL LANDMARK - THE LOCAL COMMUNITY ARE LOOKING FOR SUPPORT, PUBLIC MEETING OCT 23RD AT 6.15PM, IN THE SCHOL ON ST KENNETH DRIVE IN LINTHOUSE....GCC ARE SAYING NO OTHER SUITABLE SITES, DESPITE GOVAN HAVING 68 BROWNFIELD SITES...TWO OF WHICH ARE VIRTUALLY ADJACENT TO THE SCHOOL...GCC LINE SO FAR IS 'WE'VE SOLD IT, NOT OUR PROB'..THERE IS MASSIVE LOCAL OPPOSITION TO THE LOSS OF OUR HERITAGE, WHEN WILL THIS COUNCIL START UNDERSTANDING IT IS THERE TO SERVE ITS PEOPLE !!!
Bob, 2:57 PM

3 Comments:

I'm a Glasgow Caledonian postgrad journalism student, and I'm writing a story about the plans for Elderpark Primary. If anyone on here would be willing to share their views with me for my article (which is mostly being written for assessment purposes, but may appear in the ET), please email louise.hallman@gmail.com asap. Thanks.
Blogger Louise, at 8:58 AM  
Sent in reply to the council's recommendation document.

I wish to address some of the issues in regards to your proposal to close down St Agnes School in Cadder.

I have received your consultation/propaganda letter and would draw your attention to the following points which seem not to come into consideration when disrupting the communities to which this process applies. I would also point out that neither staff or parents were consulted before the newspaper story was printed in the Evening Times first. I have observed that whether it is disrupting the care of our elderly/venerable or giving away our museums/libraries and sports facilities to yet another “Trust” the council appears not only to be centralising itself but obliviously disregards the wants and needs of the people they “claim” to represent.

Anyway I digress, I would like to address the following from your consultation paper.

Section 1.7. - Background Section

My child already has adequate access to quality learning experiences. There is nothing wrong with the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence and being in a familiar environment and with locally recognised and appreciated teachers and support staff he is already, in my opinion in the best place for quality learning and teaching.

The last point really says it all. The council want to save cash in order to spend it elsewhere, I doubt very much whether it would be put back into the education system but saving a few bucks isn’t a reason to disrupt pupils who are already there and harm the community the schools serves at present, or maybe I’m speaking from a purely non-monetary view as I presume you would also if your child’s school was being closed which I’m sure it isn’t due to the nice area’s you no doubt live in.

You point out that St Blane’s “serves the community of Summerston” which I’m sure it does but my son doesn’t live in this, in my opinion, rundown area (as is Milton) and I have no wish for him to be forced to do so.

The statistics you provided about both schools are interesting St Agnes has a class size of 21 and St Blane’s 20. I would draw your attention to Schools Minister Maureen Watt’s comments on the BBC website stating that "We know that smaller classes make a big difference - that's what parents, pupils, teachers and their unions want and that's what this Scottish Government will deliver," said Ms Watt. She also states that the recommended class size was 18. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that 150 extra pupils will almost certainly double these class sizes and therefore isolate many pupils who won’t be able to have quality time with a teacher as my child enjoys at the moment.

The next part of this seems to deal with the condition of the building. I noticed that you gave great care in photographing the worst buildings in the worst areas for you argument in this. I assure you St Agnes is a very clean and tidy school and looks nothing like the pictures of Barmulloch school which is in that condition because the areas are in poverty and the policing is practically non-existent due to …. cutbacks in policing I would guess!!

It seems you can use my tax money to send you and your cronies to irrelevant functions up and down the country (or worse twining Glasgow with whoever) week after week and fund the “commonwealth games” but not to educate my child. The £50,000 a year you save would'nt even cover Mr Purcell's expenses for the year.

4.5 distance to school is 1.4 miles, easy to put down on paper but not so easy for either the children or parents to reach, this would mean either putting an under 12 on the bus full of adults and bigger children by themselves or the parent having to go up and down to school with them costing more money or you have to provide transport. The kids at the moment can make their own way to school with friends in relative safety and know the local people on the way, hence the lack of bullying out-with the school.

Points 4.6 and 5.1 are your opinion of which I have no confidence in.

5.2 Says that St Agnes has a low roll, but is at 66 percent, St Blane’s is at 40 so that makes no sense and (5.4) you add that larger learning groups help children which every report/survey states is not true. See comments above of Mrs Watt.

5.6 Saving money at who's expense?

6.2 Your figures are contradicting themselves; St Blane’s capacity would be 80% not 75. The average class sizes would be 50 according to your figures, 302 divided by 6 (as you state St Blane’s only has 6 classes) not 25 which is still too many anyway.

6.4 The fact that a child has to go 1.4 miles to school when they are used to going practically round the corner is unacceptable as for the routes it’s a very long walk either through Summerston down Sandbank Street or the alternative is a very unsafe route past St Agnes through a badly isolated and dimly lit route to Asda in which older kids hang around and there are bushes and such to either side in which anyone could easily hide in especially scary in the dark winter months. Something you seem to conveniently forget to mention is the huge influx of children of all ages at 3-4 O’clock when pupils of St Blane’s, John Paul’s Secondary, Parkview Primary and Cauldercuilt Primary come out at the same time. Not only a breeding ground for bullying but a harrowing time to get home either walking or by bus.

7.1 and 7.2 Yes we have already seen what happens to building closed in the area. For years the former police station on Balmore Road was gradually demolished by the local ned population for about 10 years as is the old folks home beside it. If you manage to avoid your responsibilities in regard to what is best for the children in Cadder please demolish St Agnes’s as fast as possible in order to avoid it being raised to the ground or becoming an eyesore for the next however many years.

9.1 Is insulting. The only reason you are discussing this is because you were forced to by the parents of all the schools you tried to close by the backdoor, don’t you remember YOU work for US as you found out with similar underhanded tactics such as the botanic gardens and Pollok park sell off’s.

9.2. This document is biased towards your proposal and has no outside input whatever.

The other things you don’t seem to want to consider is the devastation of closing a local school has on the community in terms of community spirit and togetherness. St Agnes and its staff are very well thought of and trusted within Cadder, why? Because they are on our doorstep and I can pop along and discuss any problems with familiar faces. Janitors and Cleaning/dinner staff mainly come from Cadder and therefore are well know both in and out of the school. My sons education is very well met within the current class sizes at the school as are others who need a little more help. The school is well maintained and graffiti free unlike the convenient pictures you provide of some other schools labelling all of them as rundown rubbish tips in order to strengthen your arguments.

You have no idea of life in these districts, of the conflict between, especially teens growing up in different areas. Of the sectarian and gang fighting problems or the difficulty that parents have getting to and from these places. It’s handy to just say “hey you all live in roughly the same area why don’t we dump you all in the one school to save some cash” but I assure you your plans will upset both my son’s life and education and mine (and all the parents of St Agnes’s) for no other reason than you want to save a few pounds. You seem to be able to find money for the most irrelevant of things (yes I include the nonsense which is the commonwealth games) so instead of doing your usual 2 minute solution package why not listen to the constituents for a change. SAVE OUR LOCAL SCHOOL (Summerston is not local to us despite the demographic).

Lastly i would like to say that maybe if the person who drew up this consultation paper had been in a well run school like St Agnes's then his/her facts and figures might well have added up. I am also disappointed in regards to the lack of support from councillors and the newspapers (especially the evening times which I read) and hope that they will look at these proposals more carefully in regards especailly to St Agnes's and lend much needed support.
Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:34 AM  
Is this site going to be updated to include the recent announcements of closures?
Blogger Plot Tracer, at 12:11 PM  

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