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Hundreds of families to be cut from catchment area of popular Glasgow primary

HUNDREDS of families face being cut out of the catchment area of a popular primary school.

The move comes as Glasgow City Council seeks ways to reduce overcrowding at Hillhead Primary School in the west end of the city.

Officials have drawn up consultation plans which could see the number of pupils entering the school slashed over the next few years to alleviate the chronic overcrowding which has seen some families living in the catchment area turned away.

However, the move means many parents who currently live in the Hillhead catchment area and were expecting their ­children to attend the school will find the youngsters are ­allocated elsewhere.

There is also an impact on the surrounding primary schools of Oakgrove, Anderston, Garnetbank, Hyndland and Thornwood who will have to take additional pupils.

A report on the issue from the council to its executive committee states: "Whilst the main purpose of the catchment area proposal is to review the catchment area of Hillhead Primary School this inevitably impacts on the surrounding primary schools.

"It is proposed to change the catchment areas for the schools ... by re-zoning areas of their catchment."

The council will also consult on the closure of Kelvin Park Early Years Centre, a nursery on the same site as Hillhead, to make more space for pupils.

The move affects around 160 pre-school children and will see them being moved to six other nurseries, which will have their rolls increased to make way for new pupils.

Glasgow City Council's Development and Regeneration Services is currently assessing the nurseries to see how they could be adapted to take in more children.

The report states: "It is proposed to close Kelvin Park Early Years Centre to allow Hillhead Primary School to use the teaching areas as classrooms. This would increase the number of available teaching areas.

"Additional nursery places in council nurseries and also at partnership nurseries in the locale ... would result in a significant overall increase in nursery provision within a one-mile radius of Hillhead Primary School."

In January, families living in the catchment area of Hillhead were told they no longer had an automatic right to a place for their children because the school was over-subscribed.

Hillhead, in Gibson Street, was built three years ago following a merger with other primary schools and was designed for a capacity of 632 pupils, but currently has 649, which is predicted to rise to 678 by August this year.

In the past, the council has said the problem was the result of the popularity of the school as well as rising population trends.

The Scottish Government's move to legislate to cap numbers of children in P1 classes at 25 has also restricted flexibility.

However, opposition politicians argue that the council's rationalisation programme underestimated the number of places schools will need.

The school has already lost its dedicated art room and music room, which are now being used as classrooms, and there are plans to convert its library into a classroom.

Hillhead councillor Martin McElroy said: "I am in no doubt about the need to change the catchment areas because of the continued space shortages at Hillhead, but I am concerned that we would create a new space problem elsewhere."

The proposed change would be introduced in August next year following a public consultation which begins on June 11 and closes on September 29.

Contextual targeting label: 
Education

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