PUPILS from two Glasgow schools have lost the right of automatic entry to attend one of Scotland’s best secondary schools.
East Renfrewshire council’s education committee has rubber-stamped plans to redraw St Ninian’s high school’s catchment area.
Children at St Angela’s and St Vincent’s will be excluded from the 2012-13 school roll at the Giffnock secondary in a bid to solve its serious overcrowding problems.
But education convener Alan Lafferty vowed these Glasgow pupils will have priority of access above all other criteria through the school’s placing request priorities.
Councillor Lafferty said: “It is entirely understandable passions have often run high since we all want the same thing — a high quality education for our young people.
“That St Ninian’s is full and only going to get busier was in no doubt throughout the past two years.
“This solution helps put more control on the number of pupils coming into the school.
“Crucially it also recognises the valuable contribution that children from the Glasgow schools have made.
“They will now receive high priority status above all other placing requests into St Ninian’s.
“No matter where a pupil comes from, when they set foot over the threshold of one of our schools they become one of our children.
“That means they get access to the very best education that we have to offer and that will continue”.
But a spokesman for Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow expressed his regret at the decision.
He said: “There would have been no St Ninian’s had not the families of St Angela’s and the former St Louise agreed, back in the 1980s, to having their children’s education disrupted to provide the necessary numbers to make the new St Ninian’s viable”.
Thomas Buik, vice chairman of St Angela’s parent council, also voiced his anger.
The father-of-three said: “Our community has lived with the fear of this day for over two years. We are dismayed ERC are blatantly ignoring the affected Catholic community.
“It is a sad day for Catholic education”.