Anti-closure ballots gather momentum

23rd August 1996 at 01:00
Campaigners fighting to keep schools open by seeking self-governing status are gaining support among parents. But two Glasgow primaries are to reballot after failing to attract a 50 per cent return.

Queenslie and Levern primaries both secured a majority but from a minority of parents eligible to vote. On a 41 per cent return at Queenslie, 31 parents backed opting out and 10 did not. At Levern, 46 per cent of parents took part, with a vote of 95-2 in favour.

In the second ballots, a straight majority will be enough to submit plans for self-governing status to the Secretary of State.

In Highland, which has already lost Dornoch Academy to self-governing status, parents at Fort William primary have voted decisively by 107 to 7 for opting out on a 65.9 per cent return.

Two smaller primaries at Lieurary in Caithness and Scotsburn in East Ross also backed local control. At Lieurary, on an 86.4 per cent return, 16 voted for and 3 against. At Scotsburn, 11 of the 15 parents backed opting out.

Earlier this summer, parents at Rockwell High, Dundee, set the trend against closure by supporting self-governing status. The Scottish Secretary, however, has insisted that unviable schools will not be successful in attracting central funds to replace those withdrawn by a local authority.

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