Kirklee/Bellshaugh Playing Fields
Parents may have become aware of a proposal for GCC to let an area at these playing fields to Kelvinside Academy while removing the remainder from the school's estate. Approval in principle and subject to further negotiation is being sought at a GCC cmte meeting tomorrow, Thursday 25 February. Despite the short notice, the Parent Council responded noting their concerns, the text of which is on the Parent Council website. The Parent Council invites all parents to consider the terms of the agenda item and response and contact their own Councillors with their views.
Parent Council note to Councillors
CONTRACTS & PROPERTY COMMITTEE – 25 February 2021
PROPOSED OFF MARKET LETTING OF PART OF KIRKLEE PLAYING FIELDS, BELLSHAUGH ROAD, GLASGOW, G12 0SP TO KELVINSIDE ACADEMY
The pitches have been less well used over more recent years but this seems at least in part a result of the lack of upkeep by Amey and for the last couple by the ongoing use as site establishment by Scottish Water.
We note with concern that the proposal appears to make no firm provision in relation to Cleveden Secondary either in terms of alternative facilities or in respect of continued access. It should also be noted that nothing in the recommendations makes mention of continuing informal community access.
- The pitches lie only 400m gate to gate from the school. Considerably closer than the 1km suggested at point 3.3 in the agenda
- While it appears that there were discussions with the previous headteacher, this appears to have been some time ago and their terms are unknown. Certainly there was no contact with the incoming headteacher or the Parent Council in relation to this proposal.
- If the facilities were complete and available to the school, it would use the land for sports events, sports days and if timetabled well, classes could use the area again.
Turning to the agenda item:
- Firstly, the recommendations seek to remove both the blaes and grass facility from the Cleveden School Estate but only let the grass pitch area to Kelvinside Academy (KA). If that is correct, what is the intent for the remaining area? Why seek to excise that from the school estate?
- Only one of the pitches (point 2.2 in the agenda) is red blaes, the other is grass and therefore between the two, the surfaces are suitable for a wider range of activities.
- If the whole facility was removed, this would excise 2.71 hectares of playing fields from Cleveden leaving only control of a rather tired and heavily used 0.15 hectare artificial pitch and a far from pristine tarmac playground for the whole school. This is hardly equitable and seems to fly in the face of a number of GCC policies including those in relation to Active Schools, Out of School hours sports participation and the Glasgow Improvement Challenge. What other provision is to be made?
- The proposal notes (2.4) "it is envisaged…… [that] provision would be made for the local community and pupils from Cleveden Secondary school to retain a fair and proportionate level of access to the improved facilities." There is absolutely no detail on what this access would look like or a minimum level of access for either. We understand that a memorandum of understanding has been agreed between KA and Broomhill Sports Club but no similar approach appears to have been made to the school.
- Nowhere does the proposal state why GCC is unable to improve the facility or require Amey to do so under the terms of their agreement. After all, the nearest equivalent pitches are at Scotstoun, some 5km away meaning community groups are likely to add to traffic congestion.
Ideally, both pitches would stay in public control to provide full access for all Glaswegians but if it has to happen then we would encourage the Committee to ensure that if approval is given in principle on Thursday, it is conditional on significant use by Cleveden Secondary and local community groups at reasonable or no cost. Let's not forget that even if KA invest in the facility it will make their school a very much more attractive commercial proposition to fee paying parents, which would be a very real benefit given the local competitive market and generally falling rolls at private schools.
We have heard an argument in favour of the proposal being that there have been incidents of unsocial behaviour there. We cannot see that as a justification for the lease. Firstly, redevelopment may make no difference and even if it does, that won't address the problem, simply shift it to somewhere else nearby.
We add concern that it will inevitably mean an intensification of informal use of the small Cleveden pitch. A brief look at a map will demonstrate the tiny number of publicly accessible all-weather recreational facilities (or even flat ones) nearby to allow people of all ages to play outdoors.
Due to the very short time between the agenda item becoming known in the school and the wider community, there has not been an opportunity to canvass wider views or notify all who would otherwise have responded. It is fair to say that many people will be watching with a great deal of interest and concern.
Cleveden Secondary Parent council
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The Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 makes provision for the involvement of parents and carers in their children's education and school.
It established a Parent Council in each school composed of parents/carers with the Head Teacher as advisor and co-opted members to add breadth of expertise.
The Parent Council has duties, rights and responsibilities in relation to the management of the school including:
- Consulting with, and reporting to parents and carers
- Putting the views of parents/carers to the school
- Encouraging the development of links between schools and parents/carers
- Taking part in the selection of senior promoted teachers
- Receiving reports from the head teacher and education authority
- Having power to raise funds and spend these for the benefit of the school
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- 1 March 2021
- 10 May 2021
- 7 June 2021
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