Glasgow & West Scotland

New admission plan for prestigious Catholic state school

St Ninian's Image copyright Google
Image caption St Ninian's High School is among the best-performing schools in the country

A council has published plans to limit admissions to one of Scotland's most prestigious state schools.

St Ninian's Roman Catholic Secondary in East Renfrewshire is among the best-performing schools in the country.

That has led to increasing numbers of non-Catholic parents applying to send their children there.

The proposed changes could see, for the first time, priority being given to Roman Catholic baptised children in the catchment area.

The local authority said that in future - when there was over-subscription - children not of the Roman Catholic faith would be offered a place in their local non-denominational catchment school instead.

'Available capacity'

It said the practice of requesting a baptismal certificate was not new in Scotland and would only be used when its schools were oversubscribed.

The consultation, which will launch on Friday and run until 10 October, also proposes giving priority to placing requests made by East Renfrewshire residents as well as those children already at an associated primary.

The council said they had seen "significant increase in demand" for places in schools within the east of the council area, in particular at Our Lady of the Missions, St Cadoc's and St Joseph's primaries as well as at St Ninian's High School.

The local authority now has the highest proportion of 10 - 14-year-olds in the country.

'Equitable solution'

The council's director of education, Mhairi Shaw, said: "Over recent years the number of East Renfrewshire families choosing a Roman Catholic education for their children has increased by around one fifth and many of these schools are in fact either at or approaching full capacity.

"We have already taken action to address increased demand at our schools by creating additional accommodation, increasing teacher numbers and classes where necessary and are also in the process of investing £77.6m over the next three years to provide even more new and extended education facilities.

"However, despite these significant measures, the rate at which demand is now increasing means these actions will still not provide the capacity needed to meet the appetite for Roman Catholic school places in future years.

"We also know that we have space in our very high-performing non-denominational schools in the council area and as such we must seek to use all available capacity across our full school estate to achieve a fair and equitable solution and best value for the public purse."

If agreed, the changes would apply to new primary and secondary pupils from January 2017.

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