Council and church give go-ahead for joint campus schools in North Lanarkshire  

North Lanarkshire Council and the Diocese of Motherwell reached agreement today on plans to develop five out of seven joint campus primary schools in North Lanarkshire.  

Discussions continue on the remaining proposed joint campus primary school projects in Bargeddie and Chapelhall, and it is hoped agreement will be reached soon on these two projects. As a result of the agreement reached today, the Diocese of Motherwell has now withdrawn the petition it presented to the Court of Session seeking judicial review of the Scottish Ministers decision that ministerial consent was not required for the joint campus proposals.  

This agreement follows a series of meetings between the council and the diocese organised to progress the council s Education 2010 school building programme. As a result, both parties have agreed internal design changes to the plans which have been the subject of negotiation over recent months. The schools involved in this latest agreement are: ·  
Glenboig Primary and Our Lady and St Joseph s Primary ·  
Glengowan Primary and St Mary s Primary ·  
Plains Primary and St David s Primary ·  
New Stevenston Primary and St Patrick s Primary ·  
Wishaw Academy Primary and St Ignatius Primary.  

Councillor Jim McCabe, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: I am pleased that we have made such progress in taking forward our plans for these schools. This is a significant development for everyone involved and reflects the wishes of both the council and the diocese in working together to deliver improved educational and community facilities for communities throughout North Lanarkshire.  

The Diocese has agreed on the operation of single public entrances at each of these sites, with pupil entrances remaining separate for each individual school. The Diocese has also agreed on the operation of the central libraries within the schools. We have guaranteed that a protocol will be developed to ensure that resources held within these facilities are acceptable to both head teachers and the Diocese, while a supplementary class library will be developed to accommodate specific school requirements. And in response to concerns raised by the church, we have agreed to move the staff rooms for teachers in the Roman Catholic schools into the teaching area of each school. This will have a marginal impact on costs in relation to the building works, but what is important here is that we have an end product that we are all agreed on.  

We are committed to improving education for all our school communities and this agreement with the Diocese of Motherwell will help us achieve just that while the withdrawal of the church s petition means that we can now focus all our resources on making a real difference for the pupils of today and tomorrow.  

Commenting on behalf of the Diocese of Motherwell, Bishop Joseph Devine added,  

"I believe that the agreement now reached with the council on these five shared campus schools represents significant progress.  
"When I first agreed to the principle of shared campus provision in these communities I was keen to ensure that all the schools involved should be encouraged to develop their own distinctive identities, albeit in new settings.  
"With agreement now on the appropriate use of iconography, on the provision of appropriately designed public entrances, on the provision of staffrooms in each school area, and on the provision of appropriate library resources, I am pleased that the revised designs will allow each school to develop its own ethos, within a spirit of mutual respect and partnership.  

"The distinctive nature and academic successes of Catholic education have long been recognised by school inspectors, government ministers and parents. I am delighted that the benefits of Catholic education will continue to be made available across North Lanarkshire.  

"The mission of the catholic school is to develop as a community of faith and learning. I believe the facilities proposed by the council will allow such communities to develop and grow in the future and I commend the plans to the parents and pupils in the parishes concerned.  
The Bishop added, "Lastly, I hope that the continuing discussions about school provision in Bargeddie and Chapelhall will soon reach a positive outcome."  

ENDS  

Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org  


Euan Wilkinson, Snr. Corporate Communications Officer  
North Lanarkshire Council  
Tel: 01698 302312 Fax: 01698 266709  
E-mail: WilkinsonE@northlan.gov.uk  
Date: Friday 19 November 2004  

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