The Diocese of Motherwell has expressed ‘significant concerns’ over North Lanarkshire Council’s commitment to Catholic schooling.
The newly appointed Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Toal, claims the proposal to merge Our Lady’s and Taylor Highs goes against the local authority’s promise to ‘stand together with the Catholic community’.
He said: “In the past few weeks the Diocese has met representatives from schools, parishes and the local communities and I have listened to their views on the matter.”
The formal response from the Diocese to the ongoing consultation has questioned whether the council’s treats Catholic and non-denominational schooling equally.
A spokesman for the Diocese said: “At public meetings council officers claimed larger secondary schools are necessary to ensure adequate curriculum provision.
“Yet, they are content to have non-denominational schools with rolls as small as 414 in one case and fewer than 700 in four other cases. “Across the authority Catholic secondary school rolls would be on average one third larger than non-denominational schools, which is an inequitable treatment of pupils attending Catholic schools.”
Councillor Jim Logue, convener of Learning and Leisure Services, responded: “We are fully committed to both investing and supporting Roman Catholic education in North Lanarkshire.
“The new £19m Cathedral Primary in Motherwell and £44 million St Ambrose High in Coatbridge alone demonstrates this commitment.”