Plans for new Glasgow Southside primary school scrapped

Proposals to develop a new primary school in Glasgow’s Southside have been scrapped by councillors following an inconclusive public consultation.

Glasgow City Council had hoped to create a new school that would serve communities within the city centre as well as the Gorbals, Tradeston and Laurieston which have benefited from new housing developments in recent years.

Why were the plans dropped?

But after local communities were split over two different proposed sites, the council has decided to scrap these plans and go back to the drawing board – while insisting they were committed to creating a new school for the area.

Ofsted rating: 3 - Requires Improvement. Date of inspection: 17-05-2018Ofsted rating: 3 - Requires Improvement. Date of inspection: 17-05-2018
Ofsted rating: 3 - Requires Improvement. Date of inspection: 17-05-2018

What were the plans?

A number of schools have experienced an increasing demand for places as a result of new developments, and steps have had to be taken to ensure that there was sufficient capacity for catchment area children.

Between November 2021 and January 2022, two options were presented to the community – to re-purpose the building at 5 Florence Street or to re-purpose the building at 12 Commercial Road, Adelphi Centre which officers believed would create a diverse range of teaching and learning spaces fit for a 21st century school.

It was proposed that the new primary school would be associated with Bellahouston Academy.

Of the 80 responses to the survey, 21 preferred option one, 44 wanted to see option 2 carried out while 13 did not express an opinion or suggest an alternative view.

What is the council saying?

An update was presented to the city administration committee this morning.

Chris Cunningham, city convener for education, skills and early years, said: “We are looking for approval to withdraw these proposals following public consultation. In doing so I would like to make clear, on behalf of the city government, that the council remains committed to expanding primary school provision for these communities in response to population growth in the Gorbals and city centre.

“What is being sought here is the withdrawal of this particular proposal and not the wider principle of the expansion of primary provision in the area. The council cannot respond to the feedback of this consultation by going off in an entirely different direction, for example building a new school somewhere else or by changing the character of the plans.

Proposals such as these would require a new consultation before being approved by this committee. In order to move forward we have to stop what we have proposed, engage with the local community and come forward with new ideas.”

What next?

The local authority will now have to inform the Scottish Government of their decision not to proceed with the development of a new school as their Learning Estate Investment Programme funding is no longer required.

Councillors will however continue to prioritise work to find a solution to build a new school in that area that suits the needs of the local community.

Following the meeting councillor Cunningham added: “We have listened to the views of the local community and stakeholders who took part in the consultation and the recommendation is not to proceed with the new school options at the moment but we remain committed to meeting the demand for primary places in this area of the city.

“As agreed by elected members at the city administration committee, officers will now explore alternative options and then go back out to ask for thoughts on the new plans as part of a statutory consultation.”