East Renfrewshire Council is currently consulting on proposals which would see the catchment area of St Ninian’s High School in Eastwood changed before the beginning of the next school year.
The council is acting because the school is currently over capacity, with the roll projected to increase over the next few years.
But the speed of the change means parents with children in the final year of primary school do not know where they will go next year.
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The situation is made more complex by the fact the catchment area straddles two local authority areas – Glasgow and East Renfrewshire – and the consultation recommends removing Glasgow residents.
The Scottish Catholic Education Service has called for East Renfrewshire to phase in the changes over a seven-year period – allowing access to all pupils who currently attend feeder primaries for St Ninian’s.
Michael McGrath, director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, said: “The Church is very sensitive to the concerns of parents and young people who, as a result of this consultation, have been left uncertain of their route into secondary education. In educational terms at least, such uncertainty is unacceptable.
“We believe that, in all justice, the proposed time scale for any alterations to East Renfrewshire’s admission policy should be altered so that admission to St Ninian’s can be guaranteed to all those currently enrolled in feeder primaries who live in the current delineated areas.”
Mr McGrath said the Church had sympathy with East Renfrewshire because of the “overwhelming demand” to gain admission to St Ninian’s, but suggested the Scottish Local Government Boundary Commission could help resolve the matter.
Last night, Danny Stuart, a spokesman for the Right 4 St Ninian’s campaign, which represents parents at risk of being removed from the catchment, said: “We are very grateful to the Catholic Church for responding so positively to the plight of our children.
“It is very heartening to see a modicum of common sense being applied which would allow East Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council sufficient time to look at all possible solutions acceptable to all parties concerned.”
A spokesman for East Renfrewshire Council welcomed the statement, but said it was unclear on some issues.
We cannot see that the Boundary Commission is an appropriate body to become involved in this process, unless the Church is suggesting that council boundaries be changed.”
The current schooling arrangement, which allows children who live in Glasgow to attend St Ninian’s, was put in place by the former Strathclyde Regional Council and was endorsed following local government reorganisation in 1996.