Looking for Support to Stop a Primary School Catchment Change in Glasgow

(18 Posts)
JTER Thu 17-Jul-14 19:10:50

Hi Mumsnetters,

Could you take a moment to support my campaign to stop Glasgow City Council from preventing my and other children attending their nearest school (Hillhead Primary School)? The petition link is here:

www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/glasgow-city-council-stop-the-proposal-to-change-the-catchment-area-for-hillhead-primary-school-in-glasgow

I'm seeking 1,000 petition signatures so that the Council will take this protest seriously. Please ask your friends to sign - we really need your support.

Thank you all.

DesmondIsMyConstant Thu 17-Jul-14 19:15:34

Just out of interest what school will the children have to attend if they can't go to Hillhead?

I used to live near there, so just curious smile

JTER Thu 17-Jul-14 19:33:20

Hi DesmondIsMyConstant,

For us it would be Anderston, which involves crossing some seriously dangerous traffic crossing routes, if you live higher up the hill beside Kelvingrove Park.

JockTamsonsBairns Thu 17-Jul-14 22:25:47

Signed x

NynaevesSister Fri 18-Jul-14 07:37:58

I will sign. The council tried to do this to our school. Was ludicrous. Children who lived next to the school would have had to travel by bus to get to school! We got it quashed at the planning stage with the help of our excellent MP.

DeWee Fri 18-Jul-14 09:34:48

I can';t imagine the council will take a petition seriously that has people signed who live nowhere near and don't understand the local situation.

Trooperslane Fri 18-Jul-14 09:41:13

Why have they said they are doing this?

Would like to support this but just need a bit more info.

JTER Fri 18-Jul-14 11:59:07

Hi Trooperslane,

The Council has admitted they did not plan well when they built the school back in 2011 - allowing for a notional capacity of 669 pupils only. They based roll projections on weak data that were inaccurate. They also appear to have said yes to substantial placing requests from families outwith the natural boundary over the past 3 years. Instead of finding estate solutions on site, or nearby shared estate, they've simply proposed a new catchment boundary which effectively cuts out many of the residential streets close by, where families live. The proposal is insane! However, it will end up being passed if they don't receive a substantial protest, which is why I'm trying to drum up interest.

Dewee, I hear what you say about people supporting this who don't live nearby. Its a good point. I am just trying to drum up as much 'Mum Power' as I can! Especially by explaining a little more to non-local people what this is about. Thank you.

NynaevesSister Fri 18-Jul-14 12:31:59

Exactly the same thing and same reasons given in our case. Get your MP on board, get the school involved too. Our HT stormed the planning meeting. It was covered in the local press and our MP got really involved too. The council backed down. You need to go door to door as our campaigners did and get signatures from all the local residents. This is hugely important. For us it got our local councillors on board.

Interestingly the proposed catchment move was to an area that was nearly all privately owned homes, and no council estates. They did have a primary school but it was in special measures. It was undersubscribed. So clearly there were school places just ones the middle class parents didn't want.

So take a close look at the area the catchment is to move to and see if it really does lack provision.

Trooperslane Fri 18-Jul-14 16:13:35

Signing this evening op.

That's shocking

MrsMaturin Fri 18-Jul-14 16:17:39

I don't live in Glasgow but if I did I don't think I would sign that. This is already a huge primary school and wherever you draw a boundary somebody ends up on the wrong side of it. I appreciate your frustration OP of course but I'm not convinced the council is making the wrong call here. It's a crap situation all round really.

JTER Fri 18-Jul-14 18:06:29

I hear the point you make, MrsMaturin. Let me explain why I don't think the Council's new proposal is entirely fair. The school has a large population because Glasgow City Council already closed/ merged 4 primary schools to create this one. The Council already says they miscalculated roll projections at the planning stage. In their consultation document they note that from 2011 to the present they allowed 29% of the current school population in by placing request. These are families who wouldn't ordinarily live within the existing catchment/ immediate local community. The problem with the new boundary is it means that children who live immediately near to this school would not be allowed to attend and would have to travel substantial distance across the city, to a community they don't know, involving crossing many major road junctions, etc. For these reasons, I think the Council is making the wrong call here. You're right that the situation isn't good but I hope at least I can make a case to them to show that other options could be considered.

DesmondIsMyConstant Fri 18-Jul-14 18:09:54

I think the wording of the petition is a bit misleading. Hillhead primary to Anderston Primary is a mile, roughly. It's not really across the city, and multiple busy and dangerous roads.

I totally sympathise with you, however, and agree the real problem is that too many placing requests seem to have been granted.

Would kelvinhaugh primary be a better option (closer) than Anderston? Although I realise that totally isn't the point.

Good luck!

Romeyroo Fri 18-Jul-14 18:12:37

I would imagine quite a few of those placement requests are from people at the university.
That said, unless I am mistaken, there are kids in green uniforms going from Dowanhill way, can that be right? That it surely not in the catchment area

Tobagostreet Fri 18-Jul-14 18:21:32

I live in Glasgow, and am aware of the significant over-subscription to this school.

OP, what is your suggested alternative? Neither you, nor GCC can change the fact that the current, fairly newly built school cannot indefinitely cope with the capacity challenges its facing. Yes, the council messed up, but that is in the past.

Are you suggesting that budget is taken from an already stretched Education dept to rebuild/extend the school?

Surely, the new proposal is a fair and equitable 'best fit' solution?

Anderson Primary is across a few more roads, all with suitable pedestrian crossing areas and crossing patrols too. It's just not in as affluent an area, and I imagine does not get quite as good an HMI report. I suspect therein lies the issue.

It's not great. It's not ideal, but I support that at least some changes are being made.

Tobagostreet Fri 18-Jul-14 18:39:25

Roomyroo - it's very possible that for a number of reasons, children from out with the catchment area have been admitted in previous years. If there is ANY spare capacity in the school at the start if the school year, the placement requests need to be accepted, even if this means re-shuffling other classes (creating composites, etc).

Once their child is in the school, the parents do not need to submit another placing request, even if the school fills up and has to redraw the catchment area for new starters.

Romeyroo Fri 18-Jul-14 20:10:13

I am not from the area but 'a few streets' would include Sauchiehall Street and Argyll Street (Anderston is miles from Hillhead, unless my geography is off), which are massively busy. I am going to have to look this up.

Would be interested to know the cost-benefit of the Commonwealth Games, if the issue here is funding.

DesmondIsMyConstant Fri 18-Jul-14 20:23:43

It is just over a mile between both schools. To get between them it would involve crossing sauchiehall st and then either argyle st/ st Vincent st but there are crossings all the way along all of them and also lolly pop people en route also.

Not ideal but not dangerous. I walked an almost identical route for primary school in the same area (before many of the crossings were in place) as did a lot of my school friends and there were never any accidents etc

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