Today, solicitors representing Bishop Joseph Devine presented a petition to the Court of Session for a judicial review of a decision by Scottish Ministers that their consent was not required in terms of section 22D of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 in respect of certain proposals by North Lanarkshire Council.
Bishop Devine commented: While I have been most anxious to find other ways to settle this extended dispute, I regret that North Lanarkshire Council have left me with no alternative but to seek a Judicial Review of the decision of Scottish Ministers. Nonetheless, even at this eleventh hour, my door remains open to discuss any proposals which will satisfy all parties. I appeal to North Lanarkshire to recognise that we have accepted the principle of shared campus provision for six schools and to respond to our legitimate concerns about Chapelhall.
Michael McGrath, Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, acknowledged that the action of seeking a Judicial Review of Scottish Ministers decision was a very grave step. He added, Diocesan officials have been working very hard to persuade the Council of the justice of their case. They have urged the Council to withdraw the very controversial proposal to build a shared campus school in Chapelhall.
The Diocese has taken huge steps in accepting and embracing the principle of shared campus schools in six communities but remains concerned in the case of Chapelhall, that the Council can deem such a large Catholic primary school to be viable only on a shared campus. It is time for the Council to recognise that compromise is a two way street and that it needs to show its genuine desire to resolve this issue.
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