Funding boost for joint faith schools’ shared space

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East Renfrewshire’s joint faith campus has been awarded a grant for a social hub bringing both schools together.

As reported in The Extra, the purpose-built Newton Mearns facility will serve both Roman Catholic and Jewish faiths on one site, to a cost of £13 million.

Now, the Scottish Government has awarded £300,000 of funding towards a special hub at the heart at the campus, to be used by staff and pupils of both Calderwood Lodge Primary and the new Catholic school.

East Renfrewshire Council were successful in applying for Holyrood’s Inspiring Learning Spaces Fund, handed out to 20 school projects across Scotland, and will now create a market square-style space with an amphitheatre, ICT facilities, wi-fi and a range of group learning zones.

Councillor Elaine Green, convener for education and equalities, said: “Our proposal for a faith schools’ joint campus is a bold and unique one.

“It will respect and nurture children’s individual religious faiths while at the same time delivering inspiring spaces for learning, teaching and social integration.

“Each school will have their own distinct areas but the hub proposal, with its radical design, offers a new and innovative approach to learning and teaching.

“I’m delighted that’s been recognised by the Scottish Government and that they have made this award to support the project.”

Work on both schools is due to start in March next year, with the first pupil intake scheduled for August 2017.

The campus will include a shared nursery and playground, as well as facilities for sport, art, science, music and drama — although Kosher catering will be provided for Calderwood Lodge.

The existing Jewish primary school — currently in Newlands, Glasgow — will close at the end of the 2016/17 school year.

What do you think of East Ren’s joint faith campus plan? Share your thoughts by email (address above).