Portray Glasgow in the right light

29th October 2010 at 01:00

I read with dismay Hugh Dougherty's article ("Parents need reassurance about Glasgow", October 22). It was patronising, inaccurate and appears to be based on evidence gleaned from being a parent of children who attended a Glasgow school, his neighbours and tittle tattle at (middle class) coffee shopsbars. It is most definitely not based on fact.

Thousands of parents have faith in Glasgow secondary schools. I know this from the many parents who come to prize-givings and celebration events across the city, including those Mr Dougherty would classify as middle class. I know this because I have spent time in Glasgow schools talking to staff, young people and parents. I know this because I analyse the performance statistics for the city and share in the celebration with the teachers who have worked hard to achieve much more than satisfactory outcomes for their young people.

To suggest that the parents of St Angela's and the former St Louise's, now at St Vincent's (there have only ever been two Glasgow primary schools associated with St Ninian's High in East Renfrewshire, not three, as Mr Dougherty asserts), would do anything rather than send their children to St Paul's is insulting to parents and St Paul's.

I have spent time with the parents making it abundantly clear that I want them to come to Glasgow schools. However, I fully respect and support their view that it is their right to attend St Ninian's.

No one wants change, and the parents only want to continue what has been in place since St Ninian's was built. To suggest otherwise is a pretty poor attempt to deflect from the main issues being raised in the second consultation.

As for Mr Dougherty's advice that we need to do more to celebrate success, he must have missed the fact that Glasgow City Council was awarded one- quarter of the awards at this year's Scottish Education Awards, we won a bronze and a silver award in this year's Cosla awards, our attainment levels continue to rise - and clearly, he doesn't read The TESS as our schools frequently grace the pages with stories of innovation and success.

I am very clear: Glasgow is flourishing for all its parents, regardless of social class.

Maureen McKenna, executive director of education, Glasgow City Council.

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