Drummond Community High School proposals “getting it wrong for every child”
Has the council got it’s sums wrong?
Parents at Drummond Community High School and its feeder primary schools have united in opposition to the proposal to move the Gaelic Medium Education unit from James Gillespie’s High School to Drummond. Campaigners say the joint projected school rolls show that the school would be over capacity within four years and could not accommodate both Drummond and Gaelic pupils if the merger went ahead.
Parents say council officials and politicians have held back key information regarding possible changes to the school catchment areas that would see pupils from Leith Walk, Abbeyhill, and Broughton primaries attending Trinity Academy and Leith Academy once Drummond hits capacity in 2022. This would close Drummond to most local children, and leave Drummond as an exclusively Gaelic secondary school.
David Sterratt, Chair of DCHS Parent Council stated “Drummond is a great asset for the local community and for pupils from across Edinburgh with additional support needs. We value its diverse, multicultural composition, and its ethos of inclusion, aspiration and ambition for all pupils. Parent Council and the school work together closely, and our school roll is rising.
“(The) City of Edinburgh Council has not shown us any predictions for the school roll if Gaelic Medium Education comes to the school – we did the sums ourselves. This short-sighted proposal threatens Drummond’s future. We are urging parents to contact their local councillors to listen to our concerns and act on them – we can’t lose a thriving community school.”
Drummond is one of only four secondary schools in Edinburgh to house a specialist hub for pupils with additional support needs and boasts the biggest adult learning programme in the city with over 500 learners.
Parents from local feeder primary schools have issued strong statements against the proposal and united with Drummond parents to block the move.
Rachel Guatelli, Vice-Chair of the Leith Walk Primary School Parent Council, said: “Almost all of our 31 P7s will start attending Drummond this August, with many submitting out-of-catchment requests to do so. Drummond is a fantastic school, focused on positive outcomes and getting it right for every child. The current proposal doesn’t suit anyone and would result in the Council getting it wrong for every child.”
Comann nam Pàrant Dùn Eìdeann, the Gaelic parents’ organisation, has emphasised the need to the need to build up Gaelic Medium Education at Gillespie’s before moving to a new location.