MP’s pledge

MSP puts new min­is­ter un­der pres­sure

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

Ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary John Swin­ney has vowed to look into the lack of sec­ondary school pro­vi­sion in Cam­bus­lang East.

He was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion from Clare Haughey MSP.

Half­way Com­mu­nity Coun­cil have been cam­paign­ing for a sec­ondary school in the area.

Scot­tish ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary John Swin­ney has vowed to look at the sit­u­a­tion in Cam­bus­lang East, where par­ents are fight­ing for a new sec­ondary school.

Mr Swin­ney was quizzed on the is­sue by lo­cal MSP Clare Haughey last week.

She urged him to raise the is­sue with South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, who in­sist the cur­rent sec­ondary pro­vi­sion is ad­e­quate.

Mr Swin­ney said: “Through the Scot­land’s schools for the fu­ture pro­gramme, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment is un­der­tak­ing sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in Scot­land’s school es­tate.

“In South La­nark­shire the gov­ern­ment has awarded fund­ing of up to £11.6 mil­lion for the re­place­ment of Spit­tal Pri­mary School, Burn­side Pri­mary, Halfmerke Pri­mary and West Mains ad­di­tional sup­port needs school.

“I will con­sider the points that Clare Haughey has made about the op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­ploy such in­vest­ment in the South La­nark­shire area, par­tic­u­larly in the Half­way area of her con­stituency.”

Ms Haughey wel­comed the news, say­ing: “The Half­way area now cov­ers many new houses in Drum­sagard , Hall­side Farm and New­ton Farm, with plans for many more to be built in the area at Gil­bert­field and beyond.

“There is a clear case for a school at the present mo­ment and this will only be­come even more ap­par­ent as the area con­tin­ues to ex­pand.

“South La­nark­shire Coun­cil must ac­knowl­edge and ad­dress the sit­u­a­tion.

“How much more will be spent bussing kids in and out of the area when the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion ex­pands fur­ther?

“The coun­cil need to re­think their cur­rent stance and con­duct a proper and full anal­y­sis and con­sul­ta­tion.”

By Au­gust next year two new pri­mary schools will have been built, serv­ing the Half­way and New­ton ar­eas.

How­ever, the school open­ing in New­ton next year will be zoned to Ud­dingston Gram­mar when they make the step up.

Half­way Com­mu­nity Coun­cil have cam­paigned for a new sec­ondary serv­ing the new houses.

But Lynn Sherry, the coun­cil’s head of ed­u­ca­tion, said: “We are aware of the hous­ing growth and we have re­sponded to this by es­tab­lish­ing two new pri­mary schools.

“How­ever, within the sec­ondary sec­tor there is ex­ist­ing ca­pac­ity. As such, we are not cur­rently con­sid­er­ing a new sec­ondary school for this area.

“The coun­cil would wel­come any fi­nan­cial sup­port made avail­able by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to as­sist with grow­ing pupil num­bers in the fu­ture.”

Pledge John Swin­ney

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