FURIOUS parents have slammed a decision to move to a consultation on the future of nearly 40 primary schools.

As first told in the Evening Times, East Dunbartonshire Council is looking to merge or shut 36 schools in the area.

Parents at Bearsden Primary School are angry that the consultation does not leave an option for the school to stay open at its current site.

Although other schools have more than one merger option, Bearsden's future would be only to combine with Castlehill on the Castlehill site.

Debra Macfarlane, mum of Primary three pupil Jack said: "The current consultation strongly suggests that a decision to close the school has already been taken."

The council has published proposals affecting the future of 36 schools across the area, divided into four "packages".

More than 200 people have so far joined the campaign to save Bearsden, which celebrated its centenary last year.

East Dunbartonshire councillors agreed last night that an informal public consultation will run from January 7 to February 4.

The findings will inform the council's decision making from March on how to proceed. Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: "There are 13 local authorities in Scotland, including East Dunbartonshire, whose school rolls have fallen by more than 20% since 1998/99 and we are the only council that has not reduced the number of primary schools.

"Whatever decisions we make next year will be followed by a period of statutory consultation with each school community."