Monday, 21 September 2009

Goodbye safe, local, community based schools

Today, the Wyndford Primary School was bulldozed to the ground.

Quite symbolic really as the Government look for further cuts...

We have paid for this crisis with OUR tax money to plug the hole left by greedy bankers. We are paying through job losses; wage freezes and low pay.

Our children are also being made to pay.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Richie Venton, Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign organiser, spoke to parents inside the sit-in.

(See this article for SSP Campsie Branch donation of food and water in spite of Glasgow City Council cutting off water and gas supplies to the occupied building)

Sit-in at Wyndford Primary continues – they need your support.

Parents have occupied Wyndford primary school in Maryhill since Friday 26th June, as the doors were slammed shut by Glasgow Labour council at the end of the school year.

This audacious action has thrown the arrogant council leader, Steven Purcell, who expected all to go quiet over the summer holidays, hoping that by the time of the next council elections in 2012, everyone would have forgotten about their dirty deeds against kids and communities across the city.

The council has made no pretence of negotiations with the sit-in. They have just fired out statements that the sit-in is pointless, the school is shut, end of story.

Yet despite all their arrogant strutting, the same council has thrown sops towards the local community in the form of proposals for a new Family and Recreation Centre, based in the neighbouring school (also shut), St Gregory’s.

This is a crude attempt to buy off the anger in the community, generated by their brutal closures, which leaves the Wyndford estate a desert in terms of facilities. None of this would have happened without the ferocious battle mounted by local people, through the Save Our Schools Campaign. And it is too little, too late.

I spoke to several of the parents staging the occupation, inside the school, about their aims and feelings.

I would appeal to everyone reading their comments below to:

(a) contact them with messages of support on 0778 350 8740

(b) try to visit the sit-in at Glenfinan Drive, near Tescos in Maryhill Rd - if possible with supplies of food and water

(c) build attendance of adults and kids at the sit-in’s Water Festival, Thursday 2nd July at 1pm – in response to the council’s dirty tricks department – who today (Tuesday) cut off drinking water supplies under the disguise of checking an imaginary gas leak.

Bring the kids, bring water pistols, bring supplies.

Tell the Council that the school occupation won’t get dirty like the Glasgow Labour Council!!


“We want a school in the community. We have nothing. We are waiting for a Judicial Review on the issue of nursery parents not being consulted on the closure of the primary.”

“We don’t WANT a school – we NEED a school in this community!”

“The other schools offered by the council are too far away, along dangerous routes.”

“On 23rd June the council put a proposal to make St Gregory’s primary into a Family Centre, and to turn the existing Recreation Centre into a power station for the Wyndford estate.

So if St Gregory’s is good enough for a Family Centre, it’s good enough for a school. All we are asking for is one school in the estate, we’re not even being greedy, asking to keep both St Gregory’s and Wyndford primary.”

“Family Centres can be built anywhere, so why compromise a school for it? And the Glasgow council are only offering this because right throughout the campaign we shouted that we have nothing, no facilities, from one end of Maryhill to the other.”

“Our fear is that the council want to demolish the school building – possibly to use the ground for a part of the Family and Recreation Centre. CMI, a demolition firm, has already been in twice to inspect the building, for asbestos before demolition. That’s another reason we’re holding the sit-in, to stop demolition.”

“Since we occupied the school last Friday afternoon we’ve not seen the Council. No talks or negotiations. Then today (Tuesday) they sent along a council worker pretending to be looking for a gas leak, cutting off the water to the school. And it seems it’s just the drinking water they’ve cut off. Well that won’t shift us either.

“In reply we are organising a Water Festival on Thursday (2nd July) at 1pm – a bit of fun for the kids, with paddling pools and water pistols. Our message is ‘join us – don’t let the school occupiers become as dirty as Glasgow city council!’”

“The community is still united. St Gregory’s parents have been in to help us occupy Wyndford, and they have helped stage the barricades on the gates to stop the Council getting equipment out of the building.

“On Saturday they sent in 30 vans. They loaded up with school furniture and equipment. But because parents, kids and supporters refused to budge on the gates, we forced them to unload again and have the vans inspected by us before they went away!

“On Monday they sent two vans to pick up the safe and photocopiers, but pickets on the gates appealed to them, sat down on the road, and the drivers turned away empty-handed.”

“We’re appealing for support and supplies – including food and water – from the local community and people from other areas and schools. We’ve had parents and grandparents from as far away as Barmulloch, St Gilbert’s and St Agnes schools here supporting us.”

“As Barmulloch parents we think it is great what Wyndford are doing. We are happy to help in any way we can.”

“We’re not moving until they give us a school; they can turn off whatever they want. Our message to the council is ‘you’ve shut our schools, but we’re still here, we’re still in your face’.”

Friday, 1 May 2009


Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign

PRESS RELEASE … for immediate use (1st May)

Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign is taking its battle against Glasgow city council to the Scottish parliament and First Minister Alex Salmond, seeking meetings and a parliamentary debate on the issues.

Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign organiser, Richie Venton, today said:

“We have said for weeks we will take this battle to the highest political institutions in the land, because there is no way we are giving up just because a bunch of Labour councillors see fit to slash our kids’ education.

“Today I have written to every one of the 129 MSPs, seeking their support in pursuit of a motion in the parliament to condemn and oppose the closures, on educational grounds, in defence of communities and indeed of democracy itself.

“I have also written to First Minster Alex Salmond, seeking meetings of a parents’ delegation with him and his government Ministers, to spell out the details of our case and seek the support of the Scottish government.

“It is blatantly obvious the Labour council in Glasgow is contradicting the declared aim of the Scottish government to cut class sizes.

“Bigger class sizes – which would be the inevitable result of this closure and job-cutting package – also contradicts educationalists’ professional opinion, the policy of the teachers’ unions, and I believe even Glasgow Labour party.

“So we hope we can win cross-party support for a parliamentary debate and a motion opposing the regressive closures, to add the powerful weight of the Scottish parliament and government to our determined resistance to these closures. ”

For more info contact Richie Venton on 07828 278 093 or at



Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign

PRESS RELEASE … for immediate use (1st May)

Unity and solidarity begin at home! – Defend May Day traditions against New Labour!

A big contingent of parents, carers, kids and community members from areas savaged by Glasgow city council’s school closure plans will march on Glasgow’s annual May Day march, this Sunday 3rd May, assembling at 11am in George Square.

Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign organiser, Richie Venton, today said:

“May Day is all about unity, workers’ solidarity, internationalism and socialism.

“So we are proud to mark International Workers’ Day by mobilising hundreds of people against New Labour’s school closures in Glasgow.

“Our campaign has been marked by unity, solidarity, national and international support for our actions. People as far away as Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, Ireland and of course the whole of the UK sent us messages of support over the past 3 months of fighting to stop Labour’s assault on kids’ education and communities.

“We will march alongside trade unionists – huge numbers of whom have supported our stance against cuts in education and community facilities.

“We will appeal to them to help us take our case to the Scottish parliament and government

“We are appealing to trade unionists and others to defend the true traditions of May Day against the way the Labour council has trampled those principles in the muck, in their rush to cut money spent in working class communities and hand it over to property speculators instead.”

For more info contact Richie Venton on 07828 278 093 or at


Thursday, 30 April 2009

Save Our Schools Demo on May Day, Glasgow Green - this Sunday!

Click on leaflet for larger version



At Education Offices, Wheatley House, Cochrane St (off George Sq)

9am, Friday 1st May

Parents from closure-threatened schools and nurseries are staging an angry protest outside a secret meeting between the Labour Council and head-teachers from the schools affected, demanding entrance to the meeting and for the Council to stop trying to rail-road through their closures.

Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign organiser, Richie Venton, today said:

“This meeting is typical of the Labour Council’s methods.

“It is secretive; parents discovered it by pure chance.

“It is exclusive; parents and carers whose kids are threatened with traumatic moves were not even informed, let alone invited to it.

“And it is another attempt to rail-road through the closures; the Labour council knows full well that we are mounting legal challenges to their immoral closure procedures, and taking our case to the Scottish parliament, yet they want to bamboozle and browbeat people by making it appear the closures are done and dusted.

“Parents are demanding an invitation to the meeting. We condemn the Labour council for excluding the very people whose families are at risk from their education cuts.

“The people of Glasgow will not be denied their voice by Labour’s dictatorship – the fight to obstruct and prevent these closures continues; the schools are still there; and the will to resist closures has hardened in the face of the Labour Council’s obscene disregard for kids and communities.”

For more info contact Richie Venton on 07828 278 093 or at


Sunday, 26 April 2009

Save Our Schools - the fight is only beginning!

Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign

PRESS RELEASE … for immediate use (26th April)


Hands around our schools – we shall not be moved!

3pm Monday 27th April

The Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign has called city-wide protests outside the schools and nurseries threatened with closure, at 3pm on Monday 27th April – as reports confirm that Labour plans further school closures.

Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign organiser, Richie Venton, today said:

“Spineless Labour councillors voted to close down 22 schools and nurseries last week, but they won’t find it so easy to implement their scandalous decision!

“Far from being defeated, we are defiant. The Glasgow Save Our Schools Campaign has a whole raft of protests planned, starting with a city-wide series of human rings around the schools and nurseries they want to shut. Our defiant message is: ‘Labour can vote to ignore the public, to shut our schools, but we shall not be moved’.

“And as reports confirm what we have warned of since January – that anything up to 34 more Glasgow schools could face closure in the next year or two – we appeal to parents from those schools and communities to join our protests, to add power to our battle to defy, obstruct and reverse the closures.

“This show of continued defiance is only one strand to our struggle.

“We are pursuing legal challenges to a brutally flawed procedure.

“And we are taking our case to the Scottish parliament. The Scottish government should come out clearly in opposition to these closures, wield its political power to demand they be reversed, and side with the people of Glasgow against the Labour council’s vandalism. The Glasgow SOS Campaign plans a lobby of the parliament to seek support in the next few weeks.”

For more info contact Richie Venton on 07828 278 093 or at


Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The new route to school...

What are the Labour Party group in Glasgow City Council thinking?

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Triumphant end of occupations...

Preparations for leaving, song, interviews and cleaning...

“The city council threatened that unless the sit-ins ended by Friday at 3pm they would punish the children of the entire Wyndford area on Monday morning, telling parents they could not even enter the playground, would have their kids snatched off them in the car park, stuck on buses, and dragged off to the schools the Council want to dump them in after their planned closure of Wyndford and St Gregory’s.

“This action is an abuse of the law, the actions of playground bullies, and an attempt to intimidate and above all divide the local community.

“They failed, as all cowards deserve to fail. The parents and carers in the sit-ins are responsible people. They refused to allow the Council to dictate to them, but also refused to allow the council to use their children as hostages in a dirty attempt to divide and defeat local people who want to save the schools.

!”So they are coming out at a time of the campaigners’ choosing, which leaves the Council with absolutely no excuse for barring young kids from entering the schools they are familiar with and want to return to on Monday morning.

“It is the Council which all along has sought to disrupt kids’ lives and education – not the people fighting to save the schools.

“Those who have sacrificed their family Easter to heroically do battle with a heartless Labour Council will be greeted as heroes by a crowd of campaigners and community members as they leave the buildings.

“And they have pledged to fight by all other means up to and well beyond the Council meeting on 23rd, unless the Council does the decent thing and reverses its closure plans.”

For more info contact Richie Venton on 07828 278 093 or at