Mums ready to fight for school by Jennifer Buchanan -
HANDS OFF our
So say mums, angry that their kids' school has
been earmarked for closure. Cairn Primary mums
say they'll do all they can to fight the plan by
South Ayrshire Council. Mum-of-two Gemma Callow
rallied the community together to march in
protest against the proposed merger with
Gardenrose Primary. Gemma's son Kieran is
in P4 at Cairn, and the concerned 25-year-old
wants her daughter Angel, 22 months, to attend
the primary as well.
"The class sizes will rocket if the two schools
are joined and the kids education will suffer.
"And what about the health and safety side of
it? There are only one set of girls' toilets and
one boys' set at Gardenrose. "If their school is
about to double in size how is that suitable?"
Cairn is the largest of three
primaries proposed for closure in a move that council
officers believe could save £250,000. The potential merger
with Gardenrose is now in a period of public consultation
with a meeting date set between the council and Cairn Parent
Council for October 27. But with many worried that they will
not be listen to, Cairn mums are taking things into their
own hands and making their views crystal clear.
Kimberly Thorburn's daughter
is in P1 at Cairn and she is very worried. She said:
"Madison has just got settled. She knows her teachers, the
dinner ladies and the layout of the school. All these kids
are going to be uprooted and flung into giant classes, that
can't have a good effect on them. "And if there's no room in
the Gardenrose classrooms where are they going to go? I
don't want my daughter learning in a wooden hut." Kimberly
is also concerned about the financial strains that will be
put on the parents, saying: "We just bought full uniforms
for all our kids, are we going to be expected to buy more?"
And it's not just Cairn mums
that are worried. Tammy MacPherson's children attend
Gardenrose, and she is equally as concerned. She said: "My
daughter Kiera is in P3 and there are already 30 children in
her class, there's just no room."
And the uncertainty doesn't
stop there. Tammy pointed out that parking at Gardenrose is
stretched as it is. And if the parents decide to walk their
kids to school instead, many are concerned about the
children having to cross the busy A77 every day.
Members of the
community are also worried about what will
happen to the staff and the building. Many are
confused why Cairn has been flagged for closure
when the primary just had its interior
refurbished last year as part of a £9.5 million
investment by the council to upgrade its
MSP Cathy Jamieson
has given her backing to the mums. She said:
"With other small rural schools (St Ann's and
Pinwherry) also earmarked for review, it is
perhaps worth recalling that the previously
stated position of the council's education
spokesperson was in support of rural schools.
"That was voiced at a public meeting I attended
when the future of Crossroads Primary was being
But the Cairn mums will
certainly not be going down without a fight. Gemma is
determined to make the council listen to them. She said: "We
won't be stopping here. We will be getting petitions out for
the community to sign and we are going to keep protesting
until we are heard. "This is our kids we are talking about.
What's more important than that?