School community divided, say Merrylee parents

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Merrylee parents are battling Glasgow City Council over plans to change catchment boundaries for the nearby primary school.

Parents were last year consulted on plans to tackle overcrowding which would affect Merrylee, Croftfoot, Battlefield and Mount Florida primaries.

The original plan included pupils from Old Cathcart being moved from Merrylee to Mount Florida Primary — but following objections, the council will consider an alternative area of 337 houses for a move from Merrylee to Battlefield Primary.

Louise Hutchinson has launched a petition and Facebook page against the proposal.

The mum-of-two told The Extra: “We sent our four-year-old to Lime Tree Nursery — they use school facilities to get the kids used to the environment.

“But two months after the end of the consultation that had listed our address as safe from change, we were told that our daughter would be sent across the White Cart to Battlefield Primary instead.

“To get to school, kids will have to walk across the busy Kintore Road. They then need to walk down a secluded alleyway and cross a footbridge over the White Cart. There’s no way kids at any stage of primary could make this journey alone.

“This is not about going to a good school — Battlefield has a very good reputation. It is about our children being able to go to school in their own community.”

It’s a feeling echoed by mum Dawn Goodfellow McNeil who said: “I’m horrified to discover that they have changed this without further consultation — this move has separated our strong school community.”

A GCC spokeswoman responded: “The proposals have been amended while still addressing overcrowding at Merrylee. One of the aims of the consultation was to reduce the number of shared areas associated with the school and, as this particular shared area is already associated with Battlefield Primary, we don’t believe this is a significant change.”

She added: “Very few consultations remain unchanged and the final proposals presented for approval are often adapted to take account of responses.”

The amended plan goes before GCC on February 19, and the parent petition is available at bit.ly/1Db36FB.