Abronhill decision goes to Holyrood

North Lanarkshire Council’s decision to close Abronhill High School has been called in by the Scottish Government.

Holyrood ministers announced they would grant call-in requests from local campaigners and politicians such as Jamie Hepburn MSP on Tuesday.

Mr Hepburn said he was “delighted” by the decision to review the council’s verdict which would see the school close in 2014 and merge with Cumbernauld High, ultimately replacing Cumbernauld High School.

Save Cumbernauld High Working Group campaigner Glenn Juba added: “We’re absolutely delighted, over the moon. This is really great news for all of us.”

Jim Logue, the council’s education convener, called the Scottish Government’s decision “dictatorial” and driven by politics.

He added: “The fundamental reasons behind these proposals have not altered. The schools are hugely under occupied and, as an educational authority, we have already seen the benefits of merging under-occupied secondary and primary schools and providing pupils with wider educational opportunities. To be clear, this is not solely about money, although we cannot continue to heat, light and maintain empty classrooms. This is about providing better opportunities to our young people now and for generations to come.

“The reasons given by the Scottish Government for the call-in do not stand up to any scrutiny and we are 100% confident of our position.”

Mr Logue added that the council would “reserve all of its options”, including legal action, to protect its decision.