Motion calls for rethink 
at Mavisbank

Neil Gray MP. Pic: Anthony Upton.
Neil Gray MP. Pic: Anthony Upton.

Airdrie and Shotts MP Neil Gray has submitted an Early Day Motion (EDM) to the House of Commons to raise the issue of staffing at Mavisbank School.

The Airdrie facility caters for 25 young people aged five to 18 years from all over North Lanarkshire who have complex additional support needs.

Earlier this month the Times reported that North Lanarkshire Council is planning to re-deploy instructors and early learning practitioners, who will be replaced with ‘health and wellbeing staff’.

Motherwell mum Debbie Cairns hit out at the move over fears it would comprise the educational progress of her daughter Demi-Leigh (5), who began attending Mavisbank in August.

Mr Gray gained cross party support, including the backing of former First Minister Alex Salmond, for his EDM which he hopes will highlight not only the staff and parents’ concerns.

He said: “We cannot allow the safety and care of these vulnerable children to be compromised in any way.

“In submitting this EDM, I am hoping to highlight the issue and persuade both North Lanarkshire Council’s leader Councillor Jim Logue and chief executive Paul Jukes to revisit their decision.

“The new assistants will need training to bring them up to speed with the way the school runs and the individual needs of the pupils. This all takes time and the disruption to the pupils’ routines could be extremely upsetting for them.

“The council has a responsibility to ensure that all children, regardless of their physical or mental abilities reach their full potential and I will fight to hold North Lanarkshire to that.”