ANGRY parents blasted a “pointless” consultation event for the permanent relocation of St Mungo’s RC Primary to Alloa Academy, insisting their children were “frightened” to go to school.

Guardians, teachers and representatives from the respective parent councils attended a session at the Bowmar Centre on Wednesday, May 15 as part of the council’s mandatory consultation period.

A paper was given to attendees which outlines Clackmannanshire Council’s proposal to permanently relocate children from St Mungo’s RC PS to part of Alloa Academy.

This would see the arrangement in place since 2018 continue, despite promises being made at the time that it was just a temporary measure.

The meeting was led by Colin Bruce, the council's chief education officer, who is also former headteacher at Alloa Academy.

He was assisted by education officers Debra Laird, Adrienne Aitken and Francois Gouws, who stepped in to answer questions when needed.

Concerns raised about the move included limited classroom and toilet space, with claims that 140 pupils are sharing two toilets.

Jennifer Traynor’s child is about to start P1 at St Mungo’s and she told the Advertiser that she is concerned for her child’s welfare after her older kids reported negative experiences.

She said: “I’ve got one child starting P1 after the summer and I’m a bit frightened for him.

“One of my kids went to the Alloa Academy site and I had trouble getting him from St Mungo’s to St Modan’s because he was frightened of the high school kids.

“He did his P7 in St Mungo’s at Alloa Academy and him and the other kids were bullied and called nasty names, sectarian names.

“There was fighting in the classrooms which our kids were exposed to.”

Mr Bruce attempted to alleviate some of the concerns raised by insisting that the other options were not financially viable for the council.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Colin Bruce led the consultation.Colin Bruce led the consultation. (Image: Clacks Council)

He also pointed to attainment figures from the two schools, which showed both institutions continued to turn out good grades despite the co-habitation.

He said: “For me, can I say there is a consideration for the resource and wider learning estate for that?

“Do we have the capital for that? At the moment, no.

“The reality of this is quite hard. The challenge we face is the condition of schools in Clackmannanshire.”

READ MORE: Craig Holden raises questions over St Mungo's relocation

He went onto explain that St Mungo’s placed within Alloa Academy takes it to a category A listed school, meaning that next to no works are required on it by the council.

Whereas, other schools in the Wee County sit at categories B and C and are in need of more urgent attention. The former St Mungo’s RC PS site is category D.

Jennifer continued: “I’m against it because the kids need to feel safe, they need to have their own school with their own playground, sport area and classrooms.

“They shouldn’t be rushed into eating in 25 minutes and be shouted at during those times.

“It’s not just St Mungo’s kids who are suffering, Alloa Academy kids are suffering just as bad.

“This can’t be done, every child should feel safe in primary school.

“They don’t have a clue what they’re doing – they’ve put the kids out of sight, out of mind.

“I think they’ve made up their minds. We’re sitting here, talking about this and that and it’s going in one ear and out the other.

“I think this has been a pointless exercise.”

As the meeting drew to a close, one attendee called for a vote – with every hand in the room voting against the permanent relocation of St Mungo’s RC Primary School to Alloa Academy.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Advertiser attempted to ask Mr Bruce how the council will move forward after an overwhelmingly negative consultation.

He said: “There is an ongoing consultation just now. The voices in the room were heard and listened to as part of the consultation.

“It’s important that this community have a voice in this process and that’s what happened.”