News Articles‎ > ‎

Cumbernauld campaigners muster 800 call-in requests over Abronhill High's closure

Written by Scott Campbell.
 
 
 
 
 
Published at 18:17 GMT on Thursday 14th March, 2013.
Picture is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.

THE bitter battle to save Abronhill High School from council closure plans has taken a dramatic turn. 

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s SNP MSP has welcomed new figures which show that campaigners managed to muster up almost 800 Ministerial call-in requests. 

As part of the request, Scottish Government Ministers have until Tuesday 19th March, 2013; when they will announce whether or not the Government will approve, call-in or conditionally approve the council’s plans to merge both Abronhill and Cumbernauld high schools next year. 

The details, secured by the town’s MSP, Jamie Hepburn show that number of requests made for Scottish Ministers to “call-in” the decision by North Lanarkshire Council – made last month – to close Abronhill High School and transfer pupils there to Cumbernauld High from August 2014, managed to muster nearly 800 representations – the second highest number.

Picture is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.

In response to a written question by Mr Hepburn, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell MSP has confirmed that almost 800 such requests have been made.  This stands in comparison to the average of 30 requests in the 75 cases that have been considered under the terms of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.

Under the terms of this legislation, Scottish Ministers have six weeks from being notified of a school closure or merger by any local authority to decide whether or not they will “call-in” that decision and assess whether it has been made in a way that is compliant with that law.  Individuals have three weeks from the local authority decision to request a call-in – the deadline in the case of Abronhill and Cumbernauld High Schools having passed on 27th February 2013.

 
More Cumbernauld news

Unable to find the associated list page.
 
Whilst the number of requests being made will not determine whether or not Ministers take the decision to call-in any decision by a local authority – which in the case of Abronhill and Cumbernauld High Schools must be determined by 20th March – Mr Hepburn has nonetheless welcomed the huge volume of requests made as a superb response by the local community.

Picture is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.

The MSP said: “The local community has responded in superb fashion to the decision by North Lanarkshire Council to close Abronhill High School and transfer pupils to Cumbernauld High from next year.  If the Council thought that people in the area were going to sit back and take this decision, then the huge volume of requests for a Ministerial call-in demonstrate the fighting spirit that exists in the community.

“Of course the numbers of requests for a call-in won’t determine whether or not the proposal is called-in.  It would have only taken one such request for the Minister to have to consider such.  But this does demonstrate that the campaign to save our local schools goes on.

“Indeed, the answer I have received from the Scottish Government indicates that the average number of requests for call-in across the 75 instances of decisions by a local authority covered by the terms of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 is thirty.  In the case of the proposal affecting Abronhill and Cumbernauld High Schools, almost 800 such requests have been made.  What an outstanding effort by people in the area.

“I am very proud of the tremendous level of activity that people have undertaken on the ground to make sure that there has been such a great response, and believe that those who have been running the campaign – the parents, pupils and other members of the community – can justifiably be proud of their efforts too.

“I now hope that Scottish Ministers will call-in this proposal, and ultimately refuse permission for North Lanarkshire to proceed in the fashion they have set out they want to do.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government is currently considering all the representations it has received about North Lanarkshire Council’s proposal to close this school.  A decision on whether to call it in will be made in due course.  The government is unable to comment further at this stage.”

Search for more news

    
Like us on Facebook

 
Contact the newsdesk