Glasgow Council school closures halted after inspectors concerns

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The Scottish government has called in plans by Labour controlled Glasgow Council to close three schools, two of which cater for children with special needs.

The decision was taken after Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) said that there were a number of issues over the closure proposals and that it was “difficult” to be sure that the educational experiences of pupils would improve.


The Scottish government has called in plans by Labour controlled Glasgow Council to close three schools, two of which cater for children with special needs.

The decision was taken after Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) said that there were a number of issues over the closure proposals and that it was “difficult” to be sure that the educational experiences of pupils would improve.

The report from HMIE means that the proposed closures of Stonedyke Primary, St Joan of Arc School and St Aidan’s School have now been halted by Scottish Education Secretary Mike Russell.

Stonedyke Primary School caters for pupils from the Drumchapel and Summerhill areas Glasgow.  The council plans would see them transferred to two other primary schools.

St Joan of Arc and St Aidan’s schools cater for youngsters ranging from 11 years to 18 years who have additional support needs; these schools also have a number of pupils with autism.  Under the plans, most of these children would go to a new school, with a few transferring to a small specialist unit in John Paul Academy in Glasgow

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) said there were a “number of issues to be addressed by the council” before they could be sure that the move would have educational benefits.

The HMIE report said:
“Given the relative lack of detail about proposed modifications, it is presently difficult to be sure that the council’s proposal will lead to improvements in the educational experience of, and outcomes for, young people who are currently in St Aidan’s and St Joan of Arc.”

The local authority has now been asked to provide more information to allow ministers to make a final decision.

Mr Russell said:
“I do not believe the educational benefits of the proposal are set out in sufficient detail, as HMIE make clear in their reports and I have therefore decided this proposal requires further scrutiny.

“In each of these three schools, education inspectors have raised concerns over Glasgow City Council’s plans. These concerns are focused on how the education of the pupils will be improved in their new schools.

“In their official report into the plans, the inspectors have called on Glasgow to provide more information. It is right and proper that we take the time to allow this information to be provided and considered before allowing the closure to go ahead.”

Glasgow City Council have attacked the decision calling it a “political decision” taken for “bogus reasons”.

Councillor Jean McFadden, executive member for education at Glasgow City Council, said:
“This is an entirely political decision which has been taken for entirely bogus reasons.

“The minister is desperately thrashing around looking for something to cover his understandable embarrassment about Crossroads Primary in Ayrshire.”

The councillor’s comments refer to a recent decision not to call in the closure of Crossroads Primary in East Ayrshire.  An HMIE report had found that there were no educational grounds for calling the East Ayrshire closure in.