No right of entry

HUNDREDS of primary pupils could lose the right to attend one of Britain’s best secondary schools if a bid to redraw its catchment area is rubber-stamped.

Children at St Angela’s and St Vincent’s face being excluded from St Ninian’s high, in Giffnock, as East Renfrewshire council tries to solve serious overcrowding at the secondary.

ERC wants to stop automatic entry for pupils attending Glasgow primaries and give them priority through placing requests instead.

The details emerged in a report into a consultation held late last year. The publication revealed most ERC residents agreed with the changes (61 per cent) but Glasgow respondents were strongly opposed (95%).

The recommendations in the report will be voted on when the education committee meets on March 17.

If agreed, the new catchment will come into force from August 2012.

John Wilson, director of education at ERC told The Extra: “Every effort has been made in framing the proposal to ensure the best-possible solution for the future education of young people currently associated with St Ninian’s”.

The plan would see only pupils attending St Cadoc’s, St Joseph’s and Our Lady of the Missions have automatic entry to the high school.

Mr Wilson added: “There is no shortage of denominational secondary school places in the southside of Glasgow.

“Given the education authority has a statutory duty to provide education for pupils in its area under section one of the Education (Scot) Act 1980, it would be an illogical decision by ERC to place the interests of Glasgow citizens ahead of East Renfrewshire citizens”.

Although 4,231 people responded to the consultation only 1,621 of those were statutory consultees.

Of that 1,621 the majority was from the primary consultation (1,006).

St Angela’s had a 72% return and was the only primary school to have valid responses from pupils in primary one to three. This made the bulk (64%) of their overall responses.

St Ninian’s had one third of its pupils respond while the primaries’ responses were all under 10%.

Apart from pupils, 615 interested parties replied while 2,610 others submitted letters. Postcards were sent out by ERC to each respondent to acknowledge receipt of their comments.

So far ERC has had 50 acknowledgement cards returned as undeliverable or proving that some comments had come from people with no knowledge of the consultation.

A GCC spokeswoman said: “We await the decision by East Ren councillors on March 17 and will continue to work with education officials at the authority”.