Scalpel city

28th September 2001 at 01:00
IT is difficult to argue with an authority whose school rolls are collapsing and which feels only radical surgery will revive the patient. Glasgow's primaries, like many of its schools, are doing heroic work under daunting circumstances. But, the council's blueprint for change tells us (page six), they could be doing better if they were fewer in number, larger and better resourced.

The council has amassed some impressive and meticulously argued evidence, particularly in the multiple disadvantages suffered by the smallest primaries which amounts to serious educational deprivation. The critical decision will come when it has to decide whether schools should be sacrificed just because they have fewer than 150 pupils, or some other arbitrarily contrived number. There is always a clear danger in school culls that the axe falls on the smallest, which tend to be in the very deprived areas that need them most.

The city is right to be ambitious, but ambition should be tempered. To suggest primary schools should be messengers for the learning age and regenerate the city is something teachers may find a touch daunting.

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