Friday, 19 August 2011
Cathcart MSP James Dornan is appalled by Glasgow City Council's shocking treatment of parents and children from St Raymond's ASL school in the Castlemilk area of his constituency.
Glasgow City Council made the decision to close the school on June 23, just before the school stopped for the Summer, and even yet has not been in contact with parents to inform them of the decision and what to expect over the coming months.
The SNP MSP recently met with parents from the school and all of those present said they had only heard about the closure from an article in The Evening Times newspaper or from himself.
On top of this, parents of children who were given a placement and are set to start St Raymond's this month for the first time, have also not yet been contacted and have been left totally in the dark.
Mr Dornan said: "I was shocked when the parents informed me that they had received no official notice of the decision from Glasgow City Council to close St Raymond's and leave them and their children unsure of what the future holds. This sort of treatment is utterly appalling and cannot be allowed to persist. The children of St Raymond's deserve and require our support not to be treated like accounting units. It is bad enough that many of the children and parents are now facing an uncertain future regarding where the kids go but it is completely unacceptable that first of all the council cynically wait until the last week of school until making the decision to close and secondly then refuse to inform the parents of this decision. How can they prepare for the future when they don't know what it is? Was this done to obstruct the parents from lobbying the Education Secretary to call in this decision?
"However, the issue is about more than the parents right to know what is happening to their child's school. We are now being told it will be 'sometime after October' before the closure and move takes place. How does this work? Schools need to know how many pupils they will have, what needs the children will have that are arriving and when they will be arriving. Many of these children have autism and need the security of routine. How does moving them half way through a term give them that sense of comfort and security.
"Given this I have written to the Executive Director of Education today to urge her, if she is unwilling to save St Raymond's then to please hold back the closure of the school until next May and the end of term. This would allow all the work to be dine for the next incumbents and also give the parents and children the time they need to prepare for what is going to be a stressful move for all concerned. If this truly is about the welfare of the children then I am sure Ms McKenna will agree with this compromise position."
Glasgow City Council's Executive Committee voted to close St.Raymond's ASL school on June 23rd
James met with a group of parents and children from the school on Monday 1st August