Friday, August 17, 2007

St.Cuthbert's Primary School

Well, unsurprisingly given the scale of it all, the 26 establishments earmarked for closure do include St. Cuthbert's Primary School within my own Ward.

I posted (rather ironically) quite recently about it's 50th Anniversary School Fayre and did have a very constructive visit there (with my old hat on!) back in November last year.

It's one of the proposed closures I really, really don't understand - I'll be objecting to it strongly, and not 'just' as it's in my own Ward but because:
  • as a denominational school, what's proposed would lead to a truly huge catchment area, stretching from Haymarket to Balerno, with all the children having to go to the current Broomhouse/St. Joseph's site - seems crazy to me, and not exactly designed to ease the school-run!
  • I'm entirely uncertain that the Catholic Church have been properly (if at all?) consulted as of yet - as far as I know, they can ask Scottish Executive Ministers to review any closure they disagree with, so it would have been wise to talk to them first (as I proposed back in June - see paragraph 5 of our motion)
  • the school also has a specialist, and well respected, Language Unit within the grounds; for which the current report makes passing mention without any firm commitment
  • the school itself is far from empty, and has a healthy (and, I believe, recently growing) school-role of children
  • the whole site has had a fair amount of investment in recent years
  • and, most importantly, it's very popular with parents!

As you can tell - I'm not at all convinced and will do all I can to have this proposal rejected by the Local Authority.

9 comments:

reverendmavis said...

Hear, Hear Andrew!

I have been working with this school for the past few months, and I have to say I am impressed with it. I can see that the school teaches the curriculum effectively and it has very good community spirit. I'm glad to see that the management are concerned about the surrounding and wider community and how they can support its developments.

It will be a sad day once it's closed :(

Kevin Avis
Youth Worker - Edinburgh Gorgie Salvation Army

Andrew said...

Kevin

Many thanks for the comment - I couldn't agree more, it's a VERY good school and I will do all I can over the coming months to try and get the Local Authority to change its mind on closure.

Andrew

Pam Canning said...

Andrew I am a parent of 2 girls at the school and we will do everything in our power to stop this closure. The justification for closing St Cuthbert's seems very poor compared to some of the other schools. I am hoping that having the church behind us will also help.

Would you be able to let me know of anyways we can fight this? I am in the PTA and on the new school council so I can feedback any information you give me via these forums.

Andrew said...

Pam

Many thanks for your comment - can you e-mail me direct and/or give me a 'phone number to contact you ... I'll more than happily help in any way I can. My address is:

andrew.burns@edinburgh.gov.uk

Hope to hear from you.

Andrew

marie said...

Well said to both of you.

I am a parent of 1 child at st, Cuthberts and 2 children now at St Augustines.

The closure of St Cuthberts school would be a wrong decision.

It is an excellent little school in the heart of the hutchison community with very strong links with St Cuthberts church ( one of only few schools in the city, so close to the church). The church is very much part of the life of St Cuthberts school. Which makes it very unique in our city.

Closing St Cuthberts would be stretching a catchment area for St Josephs school, from Balerno to Haymarket. From a primary school , this is not good. No chance of local children walking to school. It will take away parents choice of a local catholic school. (which they should have).

Balgreen and Craiglochart is already full to capacicity and local chilren should be able to have the choice to attend their local catcholic school, not one miles away.

Please help us as parents in any way you can.

Appreciated.

Concerned parent
Marie Johnston

Anita said...

Hi Andrew

Thank you for your support for our school. I have one child at the school and am very keen that it does not close.

I agree with all the comments already posted, especially the huge catchment area this is going to generate.

St Cuthbert's really is part of the community and has especially close links to the church with it being just across the road.

There are numerous activities that occur in the school that are outwith the school, eg Beavers. What will happen to these? These are like to move outside the community.

I intend to do all I can to help fight this closure proposal.

Andrew said...

Marie / Anita

Thanks for your comments - I agree entirely with your points.

I am liasing with the Parent Council at the school about how best to try and stop this proposal, and please don't hesitate to e-mail me direclty if you need a detailed update:

andrew.burns@edinburgh.gov.uk

Do keep in touch.

Andrew

Anonymous said...

Could your views possibly be affected by your religious affiliations?

Andrew said...

Anonymous

Thanks for your comment.

On religious affiliation - just so there's no dubiety; I'm an atheist, and my own child goes to a non-denominational state primary in the city.

Andrew