AN ‘urgent’ review is needed after parents successfully appealed against a decision not to let their children go to Notre Dame High School in Greenock, a councillor said.
A report to Inverclyde Council’s education and communities committee stated that 12 primary seven children had been refused placing requests for Notre Dame where the first year intake is capped at 140.
But councillors were updated at the meeting by officials who said that hearings had since taken place by the council’s education appeals committee which overturned refusal in four of the cases. There were appeals in 10 of the 12 cases.
Refusal by officials had been on the grounds that allowing the children in would mean the school would need the equivalent of an extra full-time member of staff.
The committee heard that because some of the children were being allowed to join the school, that meant it was now possible to let all 12 in. A council spokesman said there were now 151 pupils due to start first year at Notre Dame.
Parents outnumber councillors on Inverclyde’s education appeals committee – it is made up of one councillor and two members from parent councils (not from the school affected by the appeal).
Head of service Angela Edwards said they would be looking to provide training to parent members as it was “important to separate emotion from reason.”
Councillor Keith Brooks said: “I chaired one of these appeals. You will never divorce the emotional from reason. The composition of the boards should be reviewed as a matter of urgency.”
All other placing requests across Inverclyde had been accepted.
Inverclyde overhauled its school admission policy in November 2009 following a controversial case involving Clydeview Academy.