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Council are "100% confident" in their Abronhill decision as "dictatorial" Scottish Government calls in the authority's plans

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 14:38 GMT on Tuesday 19th March, 2013.
Picture is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.
NORTH Lanarkshire Council has responded to the announcement by the Scottish Government that they intend to call-in the council's plans to close Abronhill High School, next year.
Jim Logue, Convener of Learning and Leisure Services, said: “We are not particularly surprised by the Scottish Government’s decision to call-in the school rationalisation proposals."
The decision to call-in the plans was announced earlier today, at shortly after noon, although the council has said it is a "political" decision.
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Jim Logue added: “Clearly this has been driven by political considerations rather than in the best educational interests of the young people currently attending the schools concerned.
“This decision is indicative of an increasingly dictatorial approach from Scottish Ministers in local government matters
“The fundamental reasons behind these proposals have not altered. The schools are hugely under occupied and, as an educational authority, we have already seen the benefits of merging under-occupied secondary and primary schools and providing pupils with wider educational opportunities. To be clear, this is not solely about money, although we cannot continue to heat, light and maintain empty classrooms. This is about providing better opportunities to our young people now and for generations to come.
“The reasons given by the Scottish Government for the call-in do not stand up to any scrutiny and we are 100% confident of our position.
“North Lanarkshire Council has an outstanding track record in managing the transition of pupils to new schools, as noted in a number of HMIe reports.
“The decision to call-in these proposals will only add to the uncertainty for pupils, parents and staff. We will provide any further information required by the Scottish Government ahead of their decision and fully reserve all our options, including legal challenge, should they determine that these very necessary and beneficial proposals should not proceed.”
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