McAlpine welcomes victory for schools campaign

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MSP Joan McAlpine today welcomed the Council’s decision to ‘pause’ the consultation process over closing Ae, Kirkbean and Garlieston schools.


The MSP – who has backed parents in their fight to keep these rural schools open – says she is confident the ‘pause’ will turn into a ‘full-stop,’ as the Council’s case for closure has been picked apart.


She said the decision vindicated all the hard work put in by parents and the communities who came together to fight these proposals.


Commenting, SNP MSP said:


“I am confident that this is a victory and Council members will turn this pause into a full stop.


“It is a welcome acknowledgement by the Council of the strength of feeling against the proposed closures which would have resulted in the inexorable decline of the villages targeted.


“Dumfries and Galloway is a vast, very rural area and education cannot be concentrated in a few urban centres.”


Ms McAlpine enlisted the help of Sandy Longmuir of Scotland’s Rural Schools Network to assist parents.


She also asked questions in Parliament and submitted to the Council’s consultation.


The MSP praised the hard work put in by Sandy and the parents in fighting this move.


She said:


“Parents, communities and politicians like myself campaigned against this move.


“With the help of Sandy Longmuir we were able to pick apart the Council officers’ case for closure which was based on flawed figures, a flawed consultation process and a misunderstanding of the law – which presumes against the closure of rural schools.”