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Proposed closure of Bearsden Primary based on flawed fiscal short-termism

I WAS dismayed to read of the proposed closure of Bearsden Primary School in East Dunbartonshire Council's primary school estates review ("Parents fight for school at heart of their community", The Herald, December 8).

Whilst understanding the need to reconfigure schools with current falling school rolls, it seems inexplicable that a thriving school which sits at the heart of a community should be under threat.

There is an assumption by the council that external green space and modern learning environments promote the learning experience. This, unfortunately, is not a given. Plenty of schools in modern buildings cannot match the educational and academic achievement of pupils in Bearsden Primary. It is the ethos of a school that is important, and that is intimately linked to its heritage. It may be assumed that the spirit of the school would continue in a new amalgamated school but once an institution is dismantled it is gone forever.

People, including myself, move to Bearsden so their children can attend this school. It sits at the heart of Bearsden Cross with parents using the local, independent shops as they drop off their children. There is the real possibility that the school closure could have a devastating impact on these businesses and life in Bearsden itself. One fears that the ongoing move by councils all over Scotland to close these beautiful Victorian school buildings will be reflected on in years to come in a similar way to the move of people from tenements to the green spaces of places like Easterhouse. It is based on flawed financial short-termism and unproven modern educational thinking. It may come to be seen as social vandalism.

Julia Harron,

5 Hillside Avenue, Bearsden.

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