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Parents blast ballot for school entry.

Fuming families have blasted plans for a ballot that will decide their children's secondary school.

Parents have railed against the draw for entry to St Andrew's Academy in Paisley.

InWednesday's Express, we revealed that children will find out whether they can attend the school by having their names drawn from an envelope.

Youngsters who live in the catchment area but don't currently attend an associated primary will be put into a ballot.

Council chiefs say the move is necessary as first year classes are oversubscribed.

Critic flocked to the Express Facebook page to call for more options for youngsters.

Stuart Colquhoun says schools should be nondenominational with no emphasis on taking kids from particular backgrounds.

He said:"Schools are there to teach our kids how to read, write, count and to be responsible citizens.

"The education system is failing our children and generations to come because we are segregated due to religion.

"The sooner they make the entry criteria about their postcodes and not about religion the better things will get."

St Andrew's Academy has been hailed for the quality of its facilities and teachers.

The Catholic secondary is associated with eight primary schools across Paisley and children attending these will automatically be given a place.

Pupils from nondenominational schools can also attend but they will be entered into the draw - despite many living just yards from the gates.

Andrea Paterson says the problem should have been identified earlier.

She said:"Local authorities have access to more than sufficient demographic and housing supply and demand data. It can be used to reliably forecast demand for high schools long before it becomes an issue.

"This is totally inadequate strategic planning coming home to roost and it's the young residents and their families who suffer."

Mary Hay says her grandchildren and others will be impacted by the decision.

She said:"It is ridiculous that children from a walking distance have to be balloted. They are bringing other children by bus to attend St Andrew's then having to bus local children to other schools."

Pupils living near St Andrew's Academy will be offered a place at Paisley Grammar and parents can also ask for their children to be placed at another school.

Council chiefs says its audit team will carry out the draw and results will be sent to parents by the end of the month.

CAPTION(S):

Luck of the draw Pupils'nameswillbeenteredintoaballotfor entry to St Andrew's Academy

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Publication:Paisley Daily Express (Paisley, Scotland)
Date:Jan 25, 2019
Words:405
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