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Winning goes to war over divisive Glasgow closures

The Roman Catholic Church has denounced Glasgow's school closures blueprint as "breathtakingly naive and worryingly complacent". In one of its most biting responses , the Church lambasts the proposals as "fragmented and unrealistic" and says the city has shown "abject indifference" to religious concerns.

An alternative plan could be produced within a month, the Church claims.

Cardinal Thomas Winning warned that he had never known such widespread anxiety. "The requirements of the Roman Catholic community should be served by a reduced number of strong, strategically placed Roman Catholic secondary schools. I deeply regret, however, that this goal has manifestly not been met by the council's proposals," Cardinal Winning said.

The Church dismantles the suggestion that some schools could become centres of excellence in dance and sport and rejects the use of private finance to refurbish schools. The case for rationalising several schools is said to be "questionable" and it is convinced Higher Still could be delivered in schools with fewer than 600 pupils.

It is particularly upset by plans for two new non-denominational secondaries while refusing a plea for a Catholic secondary on the south side of the city.

The council is due to rule on the proposals on February 17.

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