Annandale South Labour councillors Sean Marshall and Ronnie Ogilvie have welcomed the removal of Elmvale primary school from Dumfries and Galloway council’s Cluster Working Review (CWR), which would have seen the school forced to share a Head Teacher with others, despite a school of nearly 150.
The u-turn was announced at the Education Committee yesterday (17 September) and follows a long running campaign by parents and Labour Councillors to exempt the school from the review.
Under the Tory/SNP Council Coalition plans agreed at a meeting of the full council in May, Elmvale primary school would have been twinned with Brydekirk primary school meaning sharing a Head Teacher. Parents from both schools along with the Labour group opposed the measure from the start but were outvoted at the meeting by Tory and SNP Councillors. However, the council have now agreed to a u-turn accepting Labour’s argument that the school roll at Elmvale was increasing and would soon move above the 150 mark.
Councillor Sean Marshall commented:
“From the start, the Labour Group has said that Elmvale should not be included in this review. Along with Councillor Ronnie Ogilvie we campaigned with the parents of both schools in opposition to these plans. I am delighted that our concentrated efforts have won through and common sense has prevailed.”
“I also welcome the news of the long awaited review of Annan Primary Schools which is due in 2014. This review will be looking at the zoning of the four primary schools (Newington, Hecklegirth, Elmvale and St Columba’s). Currently three schools are under capacity while, Newington, is bursting at the seams. This situation is such, that there are portacabins at Newingown whilst we have empty classrooms in the other three schools.”
Councillor Ronnie Ogilvie added:
“While I welcome the announcement, it is a pity that the council’s stubbornness on this issue caused nothing but unnecessary worry for parents and pupils of the school and the Tory SNP coalition should apologise for getting this decision wrong in May. I am also glad to hear that talks surrounding the Brydekirk cluster working with Carrutherstown and Cummertress are going well and should be concluded soon. This means Brydekirk should be twinned with suitable rural schools something we and the parents have been calling for from the start.”