Primary schools on southside ramp up the pressure on Cordia over janitorial services

Parents protest outside the school gates at Shawlands Primary last week
Parents protest outside the school gates at Shawlands Primary last week

Parents with children attending Battlefield Primary School in Glasgow’s Southside are expected to turn out in force tomorrow (Wednesday, March 22) to raise awareness of Cordia’s planned janitorial service reforms and to voice their concerns.

Battlefield parents have been liaising closely with parents of children at Shawlands Primary on this issue and were spurred on by Shawlands’ very successful #Picket4Peter last week. Coincidently the janitor at Battlefield is also a Peter.

Caroline Arshad (co-chair of Battlefield Parent Council) said: “We have serious concerns about the janitorial reforms. Our concerns are not only related to the practicalities, but also the lack of transparency of the reforms and the lack of dialogue with parents on this issue. From the little information that has been provided, our main concerns regarding the practicalities of the reforms are that the health, safety, security and well being of our children, as well as the wider school community, may be compromised without a dedicated janitor.”

Christine Meek one of the parents involved with the campaign said: “We need one janitor per school to ensure the health and safety of our children, they are a consistent and crucial member of the school staff, recognising people that shouldn’t be in the school, dealing with security, fire alarms and ensuring that the school is free from hazards of all kinds. This requires one janitor covering one school. The cluster model of five janitors covering eight schools spread out over three to four miles will not achieve the minimum health and safety standards to ensure the welfare of Glasgow schoolchildren.”

Caroline continued: “Peter, our janitor is an integral part of our school communuty. Just as the staff and pupils do, he also takes a pride in the school. His role is so much more than the duties he is expected to carry out. Many janitors have been in dispute with Cordia over the past year with no resolve but we hope that Cordia might listen to us as parents.”

The protest has gained support from many parents of children at the school over an issue they feel strongly about.

The parent council has written to Cordia and councillors to voice their concerns asking for a more open dialogue on this issue - they are awaiting a response.