In an embarrassing gaffe by members of Glasgow City Council, revealed over the weekend, it was shown that the principal reason put forward for the closure of nearly two dozen schools in the city earlier this year could not now be supported by official statistics. In April this year leading Labour politicians within the country’s largest local authority revealed that they intended to close a significant number of city schools because of “falling school rolls”.
However, it has since been found that school rolls in Glasgow are actually on the increase, although city council planners and politicians claim that the rising number of children attending schools in the city has taken them by surprise.
Councillor Stephen Curran, the politician responsible for overseeing service reform within the council, confirmed the rise in pupil numbers when he said that there were “more children in Glasgow than we had been expecting.” In an added development the councillor intimated that the rise in school rolls would now mean that politicians would have to make an extra £2million in cuts to the city’s education budget to accommodate for the increased number of pupils in city classrooms.
Although pupil numbers are on the rise, the council has appeared to rule out any possibility of a reversal of the controversial, and deeply unpopular, closure of 20 city schools earlier this year. In a number of cases – as with Barmulloch Primary School in Glasgow North East (shown below) – the school has already been demolished, despite the fact that the term has only recently started.