Page last updated at 15:30 GMT, Thursday, 4 February 2010

Council will not appeal in St Ninian's catchment case

st ninian's
A parent took the council to court over a school place for his daughter

A council which lost a legal battle over the catchment boundaries for one of its top-performing schools will not appeal against the judgement.

Parent Robert Bowie took East Renfrewshire Council to court in a bid to be allowed to send his daughter to Catholic secondary St Ninian's.

He won his case and the judge criticised the local authority's recent consultation on catchment areas.

The dispute focused on children living just over the boundary with Glasgow.

The local authority had argued that children from new housing estates just beyond the boundary were not eligible for places at St Ninian's.


The secondary, one of the best performing school in Scotland, has more than 1,700 pupils.

The council claimed it was overcrowded and has been looking at ways of reducing its intake of pupils.

Robert Bowie's daughter Blaire, 11, attended St Angela's Primary School.

After the break-up of the former Strathclyde Regional Council in the mid-90s there was an agreement that children from homes within a delineated area around the school would be accepted at St Ninian's.

However the family's home is in an area called Parkholm Gardens which was built after the delineated area was put in place.

This means it is not on a list of streets which gives pupils the right to an automatic place at St Ninian's.

Consultation overturned

When East Renfewshire Council wrote to Mr Bowie refusing a place for his daughter at the school of their choice, he raised an action for judicial review at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

In a written ruling, Lord Uist judge said: "It seems to me that East Renfrewshire Council have sought to give a far-fetched and strained meaning to that term (delineated area) by contending that it denotes a list of streets."

Last October, East Renfrewshire began moves to take the area associated with St Angela's out of the automatic catchment area for St Ninian's.

Lord Uist also made an order overturning East Renfrewshire Council's October decision to carry out a consultation.

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