I generally disagree with religious confessionals running schools whilst availing themselves of the benefits of state-funding, so when I saw the reasoning of St. Ninian’s Secondary School to block the attendance of a child in its catchment area, I was further convinced.
The best preforming Roman Catholic school in Scotland, it admittedly faces difficulties with over-subscription as its roll passes 1,700. Although in East Renfrewshire, some of its feed comes from primary schools in Glasgow City area following the re-delineation of local authority areas in the 1990s; at the time, to placate local Roman Catholic parents who had previously seen the school as serving their wishes.
These includes St. Angela’s Primary School, which serves Parkland Meadows, a new housing scheme which was built following the decision; and Robert Bowie, a former pupil of St. Ninian’s who wishes his 11 year old daughter to attend.
Although St. Ninian’s would have continued to accept classmates of Bowie filles, it and East Renfrewshire Education Authority attempted to argue that she was excluded because her home address did not appear on the original list of streets within the delineated area.
At the Court of Session, the Lord Uist has given this short-shrift, describing it as the most “far-fetched and strained definition” of “delineated area”, whose reasonable definition should be “self-evident”. Uist also criticized St. Ninian’s decision arbitrarily to introduce a consultation process of re-delineating its catchment area.
Meanwhile, Highland Council continues to refuse to grant bus-passes to Thurso High School pupils living in the Dixonfield area, reasoning that the road is safe-access.
The half-mile road into town is both unlit and without a footpath, and I have seen numerous dead cats and even an otter killed by cars. Highland Council has previously been willing to spend £2,000 installing a handrail in an unused pool at Wick High Swimming Pool.