A decision made outwith North Lanarkshire has meant that Kilsyth Academy is set to become one of the smallest secondaries in the area with regard to pupil numbers.
For parents in two key areas of its catchment area within neighbouring East Dunbartonshire Council have won the right to send their offspring to schools within that authority – including Lenzie Academy.
The areas in question are Milton of Campsie and Lennoxtown – which have provided generations of pupils who have completed their secondary education Kilsyth, where NLC is in charge.
At the latest full meeting of EDC councillors unanimously agreed that children in the Craighead Primary catchment area in Milton of Campsie could be zoned to Kirkintilloch High School.
It was confirmed too that children in the catchment area of Lennoxtown Primary School will be zoned to Lenzie Academy instead.
The formal consultation process had involved parents, pupils, staff including the parent councils at Craighead and Lennoxtown Primary Schools
Joint Leader of the Council, Councillor Andrew Polson, said: “The Council has agreed to proceed with these proposals in response to feedback.
“There will be improved continuity for children in these areas as they progress from primary to secondary school and the educational benefits have been reinforced by the HM Inspectors from Education Scotland.”
However Kilsyth councillor and North Lanarkshire provost Jean Jones said that she was “disappointed” then added: “This will mean the severing of historic links which go back many years.
“I know the changes have been introduced as an additional option but it will have an impact on Kilsyth Academy, and with the financial hardship facing councils across Scotland it is difficult to justify additional school buses.”
With the current school due for replacement, Councillor Jones also stressed North Lanarkshire Council’s commitment to a new Kilsyth Academy.
She said: “I have spoken to ourchief executive and there is cross-party support for Kilsyth Academy and we are looking at our options.
“We expect to build a smaller but state of the art school which will be fully equipped for digital learning.”
Another Kilsyth councillor, Mark Kerr, added: “While it’s disappointing that the decision has been taken, North Lanarkshire Council and all three councillors are resolute in continuing high quality secondary education in Kilsyth.
“I firmly believe the council should bring forward plans to redevelop the school to ensure the pupils of Kilsyth Academy get the best the council can offer going forward. No changes should affect the education of our future generations.”