CLARIFICATION ON SHARED CAMPUS PROPOSALS IN NORTH LANARKSHIRE
The following statement has been issued by Mr Michael McGrath, Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service.
"The Diocese of Motherwell has been in discussions with North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) for several months in an effort to reach agreement on their shared campus proposals. From the beginning, the Church stated a preference for a model that allowed each school to operate as a discrete community - with its own ethos and identity, while sharing facilities where appropriate.
Initial suggestions from NLC indicated this was acceptable - subsequent developments however have led the Diocese to believe that these early indications are no longer being honoured. Specifically the PPP tenders prepared by the council do not specify the requirements and criteria requested by the Church."
Mr McGrath added;
"Unless written assurances are provided by the council that tenders will proceed on the basis required by the Church, the Bishop of Motherwell* will have no alternative but to withdraw consent from the shared campus proposals and seek the intervention of the First Minister."
Mr McGrath concluded;
"All Local Authorities in Scotland have a statutory obligation to manage denominational schools in the interests of the Catholic Church. We seek only an assurance from North Lanarkshire Council that all shared campus schools will be designed and managed with this in mind."
* Right Rev. Joseph Devine
Scottish Catholic Education Service
75 Craipark, Glasgow G31 2HD
Tel: 0141 556 4727
Fax: 0141 551 8467
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
0141 221 1168