Pupils boom means major shake-up for city primaries

OVERCROWDED primary schools in a Glasgow community are set for a shake-up.

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Education bosses are to redraw the schools' catchment areas
Education bosses are to redraw the schools' catchment areas

Education bosses will today consider a scheme to redraw the catchment areas for schools in Pollok.

Plans also include a new school, a merger for two primaries, a nursery and a special needs unit.

The proposals affect eight primaries, nurseries and Additional Support for Learning (ASL) schools.

If the 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.

Bosses say the moves are necessary to deal with increasing pupil numbers in the city. During the next 10 years it is predicted the primary age population in Glasgow will rise by 13% to 18%.

Greater Pollok is one of the most affected areas following housing developments, with more building planned.

Local councillor David McDonald said: "Parents will welcome the building of a new Gowanbank Primary and it is great news for the continued regeneration Nitshill and Craigbank, but there is still a lot of concern over catchment zones locally and city-wide."

Ashpark, Cleeves and Crookston Castle are all new primaries built as part of the council's Pre-12 Strategy.

Crookston Castle is having an extension built to cope with a long-term increase in pupils.

Darnley Primary is rated in poor condition and is being upgraded as part of the council's 4Rs school investment plan.

Gowanbank and Howford primaries and Craigbank Nursery are also in poor condition, with what are said to be limited facilities for pupils.

Last July a janitor was rescued from the grounds of Gowanbank after fire broke out in the school dining hall.

St Vincent's Primary is also a new school and accommodates the Language and Communication Resource in six of its classrooms.

Pupil numbers for the coming years show that Ashpark, Cleeves and St Vincent's will reach or exceed their capacities while Darnley, Crookston Castle and Gowanbank schools will have high roll numbers.

To deal with the poor condition of the buildings for Gowanbank, Howford and Craigbank, education bosses want to move the schools to a shared campus.

The new school, to be built on the site of the old Leverndale Primary, will include a centre for children with additional support needs, including autism spectrum disorder.

If the move goes ahead, the new campus will be due to open in 2016.

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

Councillor Stephen Curran, the council's education spokesman, said: "It is fantastic news that our schools are so popular in Greater Pollok."

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk


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