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Schools merger plan to cope with numbers

EDUCATION officials are to consider plans to redraw the catchment areas for primary schools in one community to try to deal with rising pupil numbers.

The proposals affect eight schools in Pollok, Glasgow.

If plans go ahead, Gowanbank and Howford primaries will be merged on a campus with Craigbank Nursery School and St Vincent's Language and Communication Resource. They will be housed in a new-build school on the site of the former Leverndale Primary School.

At the same time, the catchment areas of Ashpark, Cleeves, Crookston Castle, Darnley and Gowanbank Primaries will be changed.

It is claimed that the moves are necessary to deal with rising pupil numbers in the city. During the next 10 years it is predicted that the primary age population in Glasgow will rise by between 13% and 18%.

The Greater Pollok area is one of those most affected following housing developments in the area.

Local councillor Shabbar Jaffri said: "I'm in two minds about these proposals. While I welcome the new-build facilities I worry that some pupils are going to have a much longer journey time and struggle to get to school.

A public consultation will be open from March 10 to May 9.

Councillor Stephen Curran, Executive Member for Education and Young People, said: ."Demand for primary school places is at an all time high. The proposed consultation on catchment areas will address this and officers held a drop-in engagement process with the local community last year to gather opinions from families and these ideas are reflected in the consultation document going to committee this week."

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