ERC launches joint faith school consultation

Barrhead pupils present and future are consulted on the new build school
Barrhead pupils present and future are consulted on the new build school

FAITH groups in East Renfrewshire are to be consulted on the building of a joint denominational school for Catholic and Jewish pupils.

East Renfrewshire councillors have commenced talks with both faith communities on the possibility of a replacement for Calderwood Lodge primary, the council school for Jewish pupils (based in Newlands), and a new Catholic denominational primary.

The move is a bid to improve primary denominational provision in Newton Mearns, as St Cadoc’s is currently oversubscribed — the new school would also feed into St Ninian’s high.

The proposed site lies opposite Mearns Castle high, and ERC has set aside £9.5 million for the project.

Members of the Catholic and Jewish faiths will now be consulted on the plan.

Councillor Elaine Green, convener for education and equalities, said: “There is a pressing need for a second primary school for Catholic children in Newton Mearns.

“Also, our Jewish school community has for some time wanted to relocate to East Renfrewshire, where most of its pupils live.”

Provisional plans for a denominational school were originally submitted as part of the Local Development Plan (LDP), subject to a 12-week public consultation earlier this year — the original site was proposed for Maidenhill, but has now shifted to WaterfootRoad.

A council decision is expected early next year.

Meanwhile, in Barrhead, pupils, parents and community groups have been invited to look at the second set of designs for the new £24 million high school.

Feedback from all involved will be submitted to architect BDP for consideration.

The new Barrhead high school — funded by East Ren council and the Scottish Futures Trust — is expected to open in 2015.

nWhat do you think of the new school plans? Share your thoughts by emailing Gillian (address above).