Jul 3 2008 by Alastair McNeill, Hamilton Advertiser
UDDINGSTON Grammar School Parent Council accused the local education authority this week of keeping parents in the dark over the opening of the new school building.
It had been anticipated that pupils would move into the new £18.1m facility at Meadowbank in August, following the school summer holiday break.
But last month it emerged pupils will not move into the state-of-the-art building until October, or even January.
South Lanarkshire Council said that the delay in the opening was to ensure the school building was “thoroughly” prepared for pupils before they moved in.
But Uddingston Grammar School Parent Council convener Stuart Park expressed frustration this week over a “dearth of information” from the council about the opening of the school to the pupils.
He added that the group have submitted a Freedom of Information request to the local authority in an effort to shed light on the situation.
“Our aim is to be treated as partners in the process,” he commented this week.
He continued: “The council have offered a meeting, but it is likely this will not be until August when they will provide some more information to parents.
“We want to get firm commitments from the council on entry dates, and what steps they will take to address the ongoing concerns which we have regarding issues such as road traffic management, health and safety and getting the new playing fields constructed.
“We just want to be included and treated with respect by the authority. Their track record in the handling of this programme to date has not filled us with any confidence.
“We are now seeking assurances that the council have a clear and measurable plan.”
The parent council have also set up a website for parents at www.uddingstongrammar.com where they can express their views on the matter.
Mr Park said that he wanted parents to become more involved in the campaign.
He explained: “The more parental pressure that can be brought to bear on the local authority then the better.
“Hopefully this will make it more likely that pupils get into the new school sooner rather than later.”
Pointing to a letter issued to parents on June 9 on the arrangements for moving into the new accommodation, a South Lanarkshire Council spokeswoman said that education resources was “committed” to sharing information.
She added: “The priority is to minimise the potential disruption to learning and teaching, and we would wish to assure parents that work has begun to plan for the smooth transition from the existing school into the new building.
“The head teacher and education resources will continue to liaise with the parent council as we move forward anda further letter will be issued to all parents at the start of the term with information.”