Friday, 18 April 2014


Please join our protest at Oakburn Park in Milngavie, 1130am on
Saturday April 26th

Parents and pupils at St Joseph’s Primary School, in Milngavie, are
involved in a fight and we need your help.

East Dunbartonshire Council is currently considering the results of a
formal consultation on proposals to close our school and send the
children to a new build in Bearsden. Instead of a local school, they
are offering a bus pass.

Unsurprisingly, the plan has provoked outrage across the community.
You can get a sense of how strongly people feel just by walking
through the town centre.

Colpi’s Ice Cream shop is displaying a huge banner with our pink hand
logo and campaign slogan ‘Keep St Joseph’s in Milngavie’.

St Joseph’s central location, just a few hundred yards from the town
centre, means that many of the children walk to school. On sunny days,
the playground quickly fills up with bikes and scooters.

This generates increased footfall for local businesses. Shopkeepers
say that the school run is the busiest time of their day.

Schools are also vital community assets. St Joseph’s is the site of
Milngavie’s only volunteer nursery and it is well used in the evenings
by local groups, from the Karate Club to the Tuesday Club, which
provides support to adults with learning difficulties. They could also
be forced to shut their doors if the school is closed.

Parents have responded in the best possible way – by getting organised.

One mother remarked in the playground that she had been on more
demonstrations in the past few months than in a lifetime of living in

In October, when the consultation concluded, Milngavie saw its biggest
protest in living memory. The police estimated that over 500 people
marched through the town centre.

A noisy crowd of parents, grandparents, friends and parishioners
banged bongo drums and blew whistles, while children sang at the top
of their voices, “Please don’t make us cry, keep St Joseph’s in

We believe this campaign has national implications because it has
highlighted a democratic deficit in Scottish education.

East Dunbartonshire Council will meet to take a final decision in the
next few weeks. They could still save the situation by bringing
forward new proposals, such as a shared campus with a
non-denominational school in Milngavie.

However, the fact that closure is still on the table shows that even
small local authorities can be remote, unresponsive and out of touch.

The primary objective of our campaign is to save our school. But we
also need to start a discussion about how parents and communities can
have a bigger say in education across Scotland.

So please, join us at our protest in Milngavie on Saturday 26th. Help
us to make our voice heard and add your own.

Find out more about our campaign at
or follow us on Twitter @KeepStJoes

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