Letters: Council not listening on school closure proposal

IN November the council ­proposed to restructure secondary education in the west of the city.

Tuesday, 27th March 2018, 1:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th March 2018, 1:43 pm

In essence, the plan was to reduce from three secondaries to two, with the closure of Currie High School and the sale of the site for housing.

The local response was an immediate and overwhelming rejection, common to the catchments of all three school communities. Elected representatives at Westminster and Holyrood have been forthright in their opposition. Since then, national league tables have provided additional evidence of the high levels of pupil attainment at Currie High School.

Now the council has issued a further, informal consultation which in ­addition to their initial plan now offers three alternatives – two of which fly in the face of the expressed views from four months ago.

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The proposals of WHEC and Currie High School have been met with anger by many

This time the consultation document stretches to some 70 pages of repetitious and vacuous prose.

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Readers may have noticed the Save our Schools posters which have been given prominent positions by ­campaigners.

I have some difficulty in understanding our councillors’ inability to grasp this clear message. I have an equal difficulty in discerning what the council is intending to achieve from all of this.

The proposals of WHEC and Currie High School have been met with anger by many

What I do know are three things. First, the council has a declared ­intention of continuing the ­exercise, ­apparently in spite of the responses given.

Second, the upset, disruption and concern to parents, pupils and community groups will go on – totally ­unacknowledged by the council.

Third, these consultation exercises also have a financial cost. I have written to the council asking for information on their school restructuring plans, in the form of staff costs, ­councillor expenses, venue costs and consultancy fees. It will be interesting to see how this request is handled.

Parental interests run through educational policy at all levels. The 70-page report fails to mention this at any point. It would not be at all surprising if our locally elected members find the public mood swinging from surprise through resentment to anger unless there is a change to listening mode.

Richard Blackburn, Johnsburn Haugh, Balerno.

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