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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 October, 2003, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
Primary schools to close
Empty classroom
The number of pupils in schools has been falling
Glasgow City Council is to close 25 primary schools as part of a regeneration programme.

They will be replaced with 10 new schools in a project costing about 55m and affecting 4,500 children.

The council said the move was necessary because of a major drop in pupil numbers and the poor quality of many of the school buildings.

The proposals will now go out to consultation. The council hopes the closures and building work will get under way by June 2004.

Ronnie O'Connor, Glasgow's director of education services, said: "The regeneration of the primary schools is about 20 years overdue.

"We had 200,000 pupils in 1970, it's dropped down to 41,000 pupils this year.

"During the same period we have only dropped from 212 primary schools to 197 so we need to invest both in the fabric and in getting together viable pre-12 establishments."

In terms of our current state of primary schools, we have a number of school buildings in a very distressed state
Steve Purcell
Education convener
In addition to the 25 primaries, two special needs and 11 nursery schools will be shut.

Council officials said they had ruled out a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme to raise the investment required for the project.

Instead, 23m will come from the local authority, 10m from the sale of school land and another 22m will be borrowed.

Education convener Steve Purcell said: the programme would be about "relocation, reinvestment and regeneration".

"In terms of our current state of primary schools, we have a number of school buildings in a very distressed state," he said.

Glasgow school
A number of schools are in a poor condition
"We are now offering a genuine consultation to communities on how we reinvest in and relocate our education provision."

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), Scotland's largest teaching union, said it was "genuinely supportive of primary reorganisation in Glasgow".

Spokesman Willie Hart said: "But we want to see savings made from closing schools recycled into education and we don't want to see kids going from class sizes of 20 to 30 or 33.

"We want to see the conditions of our members safeguarded and an early retirement package for older teachers whose schools are being closed.

"We also hope that vulnerable areas of Glasgow will not end up being deprived of schools and services as a result of the programme."

BBC Scotland's Martha Fairlie
"The council says this is about regeneration, not making savings"

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01 Oct 03  |  Scotland

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