Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Friday, 3 April 2009 17:34 UK

Parents occupy threatened schools

Occupying parents
The parents are displaying banners outlining their determination

Parents of children at two closure-threatened primary schools in Glasgow have occupied the buildings and are refusing to leave.

More than 20 parents are staging protests at Wyndford Primary and St Gregory's Primary in Maryhill.

The schools are among 13 primaries and 12 nurseries the city council is proposing to close or merge.

Strathclyde Police said they were called to the scene at about 1505 BST. No arrests had been made.

A public consultation on the school closure plans ended last month.

The proposals have provoked widespread anger from some parents and community groups who believe they will have a negative impact on pupils' education.

Several marches and demonstrations have been held outside the City Chambers and at the schools involved by groups worried about the closure plan.

We are hopeful that this will be a peaceful demonstration
Glasgow City Council spokesman

Glasgow City Council said that the protest began after parents attending a balloon launch at the two schools, which back on to each other, occupied the gym halls.

A spokesman said: "The police are on the premises but we are hopeful that this will be a peaceful demonstration. A member of the education directorate has gone to speak to the protesters.

"We held a six-week consultation exercise on our school estate strategy, which included 46 public meetings, and we received more than 8000 formal responses.

"These are currently being collated and councillors will receive a comprehensive report for them to make informed decisions on all the proposals at a meeting of the council on 23 April."

Merger call

Parents involved in the protest said about 18 people had occupied St Gregory's Primary and 10 were staging a protest at Wyndford Primary.

Under the local authority's proposals Wyndford Primary would close and pupils would be transferred to Parkview Primary.

St Gregory's would also shut with pupils being moved to St Mary's Primary.

Some parents have suggested that a better solution would be to merge Wyndford, which is non-denominational, with St Gregory's, a Roman Catholic school.

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