PARENTS are at odds with council bosses over plans to sell a former janitor’s house on the site of an East End school.

Glasgow Times: Lorraine Spiers, left, has hit out at council plans to sell a former janitor's house on the site of St Timothy's Primary SchoolLorraine Spiers, left, has hit out at council plans to sell a former janitor's house on the site of St Timothy's Primary School

Lorraine Spiers, Chairwoman of the St Timothy’s Primary School and Nursery parent council, is among one of those who has hit out at the sale of the building, raising concerns about the lack of space for outdoor learning. The group has launched a petition to keep the house for use by the Carntyne school and early learning centre.

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She said: “The area we have just now at the nursery is so small, we have forty in the morning and in the afternoon. Only twenty children can go out at a time and play because there is not enough space outside for them. The space they have got is atrocious.”

Glasgow Times:

Lorraine argued that being at school or nursery may be the only opportunity some children have to play outside. She added: “A lot of the kids who live in this area live in flats and closes and there are a lot of busy roads about.”

The council has extended the school several times to accommodate the rising number of pupils at St Timothy’s, but worries remain that any new additions could take away more play space.

One of the solutions parents have suggested includes converting the house, which sits adjacent to the nursery, into a classroom or playroom for use by the children, with outdoor learning space but Glasgow City Council has argued this would not be feasible.

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Lorraine added: “The children really need the outdoor space. Outdoor learning is the thing just now. It’s been proven that kids who learn outdoors are better academic achievers later in life and it all comes down to early learning.”

“How can we take space away from kids when we’re trying to social distance? We’re trying to get everyone outdoors as much as possible because Covid isn’t going anywhere.”

The local authority is pressing ahead with the sale of the building which is currently listed on the City Property website for offers over £105,000.

According to the listing, any potential buyer should aim to limit the impact to the area surrounding the house and ensure it remains as a family home or a low-impact business.

Lorraine recently wrote to council education chief Maureen McKenna about her concerns over the sale. In her response, Ms McKenna told Lorraine that there would be considerable investment needed to bring the house up to scratch for care inspectorate guidelines and that the area was already well served for nursery places.

The council has also invested in the expansion and improvement of St Timothy’s.

The Glasgow Times also understands that proposals are being looked at to extend outdoor learning space for the school and the nursery into the surrounding woodland area.

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A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said:”The house is being marketed through the proper channels and could bring a capital receipt of more than £100,000.

“Officers have been in touch with the parent council to discuss ideas to enhance and maximise the outdoor areas in the school for all the children to enjoy.

“With the council’s positive response to the 1140hrs nursery expansion plans there’s sufficient places available in this area for families.”

To view and sign the petition, click here.