MP questions controversial school catchment changes

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Glasgow South MP Tom Harris has called upon Glasgow City Council to listen to outraged southsiders protesting school catchment area changes.

As reported in The Extra, parents at Merrylee Primary are at odds with GCC over redrawn boundaries, which would see an area of 337 homes moved from Merrylee to Battlefield Primary for future intakes.

The original proposal was for an area of Old Cathcart to be moved to Mount Florida Primary — and parents in the Kintore area, considered instead for Battlefield in a bid to reduce overcrowding at Merrylee, say they haven’t been consulted on the change.

In a letter to GCC leader Gordon Matheson, MP Tom Harris writes: “The original consultation document proposed no changes to the catchment area for Kintore Road — by implication, therefore, residents’ views have not been invited on the changes that the council are now proposing.

“Given the unhappiness of families affected by a decision on which the council has not consulted, and given the council’s desire to be seen to play fair with its citizens, there is surely nothing to be lost by agreeing a second formal consultation.”

Parents took to George Square to protest the move recently, and are now waiting for the proposal to go before GCC’s scrutiny committee by the end of the month.

Mum-of-two Louise Hutchinson told The Extra: “If our appeal at the scrutiny committee fails, we are going to take legal action, and have engaged an education specialist lawyer.

“Many families have moved into the area expressly because of Merrylee — they are not about to sit back and watch their investment go down the drain.

“We hope that our discussion with education services will enable us to find a way to sort this mess out — but we will do whatever it takes to stop the council tearing our school community apart.”

Commenting on a petition by parents, the GCC spokeswoman maintained that “the proposals have been amended while still achieving the primary objectives, including addressing the overcrowding issues at Merrylee Primary. Very few consultation exercises remain unchanged.”