Changes will mean holiday headaches

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Parents with children at a Denny primary have hit out at Stirling Council for ignoring them over plans to change school holiday dates.

The majority of pupils at St Patrick’s, which is run by Falkirk Council, move on to St Modan’s High, which is the responsibilty of the neighbouring local authority.

At a meeting last week, Stirling Council moved a step closer to shortening summer holidays from 2015, in favour of giving pupils a two-week break in October.

That means families with children at both St Patrick’s and St Modan’s could face childcare headaches if each has different term times.

Clare Malcolm, who chairs St Patrick’s parent council, said: “A quarter of all pupils at St Modan’s come from Denny, Dunipace and Banknock – yet Stirling Council has failed to properly consult with us about these proposed changes to school holidays.

“This could have a real negative impact on families.”

Mrs Malcolm added that 133 parents had sent letters to Michael Boyle, an education manager at Stirling Council, outlining their concerns, yet these were not referred to when councillors met to discuss the issue last week.

At the meeting, Stirling councillors admitted they had been unaware that so many St Modan’s pupils came from the Falkirk district.

A spokesman for Stirling Council said: “Letters from parents received a response from education services, but were not reported in the committee paper, as the committee paper was reporting on the results of the consultation.

“St Patrick’s Primary parents were included in the consultation in the same way as all other parents.”

Gary Greenhorne, head of education, planning and resources at Falkirk Council said: “We are fully aware of the future implications that the Stirling Council decision will have on parents of pupils attending St Patrick’s Primary School.

“We will be considering all possible options and discussing them with appropriate stakeholders before we decide what action we take. Currently all schools within the Falkirk Council area have the same holidays.”