Schools

Our children are being denied the right to attend local school, say Jordanhill parents

By Ian Marland at

A group of parents in Jordanhill is looking to challenge the outcome of a school ballot.

The parents say their children are being unfairly denied access to Jordanhill School, and they feel badly let down and are seeking legal help.

The parents have set up a Facebook group to push their message and gather support.

Jordanhill School is Scotland’s top-performing state school.

Jordanhill Families for Inclusion say they are a “group of families denied access to their local school because of its divisive and unjust admissions policy”.

It follows a recent consultation carried out by the top-performing school which consistently tops national achievement tables.

The school doesn’t have a simple geographic catchment area like most others. Instead, properties are on various priority lists that favour older, established homes.

The school’s board of managers had sought approval to include hundreds of new homes on its top-priority List 1.

Deal

A deal struck with homebuilder Cala Homes would have seen 400 new homes being built at its nearby development given the same status as older households on the list.

In return, Cala would have helped fund a new £1.6m sports complex with community access at the school.

However, a ballot of parents has quashed that deal with 64% of the 854 responses rejecting the plan.

List one status for the new homes being built at Jordanhill Park would have increased their value.

The development at the former Jordanhill College site was bitterly opposed by many in the community as being too big.

Jordanhill School.

Cala Homes would have helped fund a new £1.6m sports complex with community access at the school.

The Cala Homes deal with the school would have seen around 200 additional properties close to the school and currently on ‘list two’ lifted given equal priority.

That will not now happen after the vote rejected the plans.

Parents with Jordanhill Families for Inclusion includes those households on List 2.

They claim the consultation was little more than a ballot exclusively of parents already on List 1.

A spokesperson for the group said the current admissions policy was unfair and unjust, and said a Scottish government review had recently recommended it be changed.

They said:  “As a result of this admissions policy, children who live close to Jordanhill School, in some cases across the street, go to primary school in Broomhill or Scotstoun, while children from older houses in Broomhill or Scotstoun pass them on their way to Jordanhill.”

They added: “It is bitterly disappointing but hardly surprising that members of the Jordanhill School company have voted to continue to exclude local children who aren’t their own from the school.

“To expect them to do differently would be like expecting turkeys to vote for Christmas.
“The school’s community consultation on this proposal is fundamentally flawed and completely fails to follow the National Consultation Code.

Decision

“The only people given a say in this decision have been company members and so the outcome cannot possibly represent the views of the whole community.

“It leaves the school and its Board of Managers wide open to legal challenge.

“We call on the school’s Board of Managers to set aside the result of this ballot and hold a proper 12-week public consultation, which follows the National Consultation Code and ensures every member of the Jordanhill community has a voice.”

Jordanhill Parents Against Group, a local campaign group, has said the school is over-subscribed.

The action group has been approached for comment.

A spokesperson for the school said:  “Jordanhill School is in essence a ‘co-operative’ of which the parents are the ordinary members.

“As such it is probably the most democratic school in the country.

“On a matter of such importance, the Board of Managers felt that it was essential to consult the members.

“All publicly funded bodies are encouraged to consult their members and service recipients which in this case is the same group of people.

“For whatever reasons, the members voted against the proposal.

“The school has not been contacted by any group questioning the outcome of the ballot and we are confident that there are no grounds for challenge.

“The Board undertook to respect the democratically expressed view of the members.

“Whatever disappointment individuals may feel at the outcome, this is a principle which everyone should respect.”