Former head says if it ain’t broke don’t fix it

Richard Lynas is a former head of Taylor High
Richard Lynas is a former head of Taylor High

A former head teacher of Taylor High has questioned the need for its proposed merger with Our Lady’s High and move to a joint campus.

Richard Lynas was also a member of the senior management team at Our Lady’s in the 1970s prior to taking over at Taylor throughout the 80s and into the 90s.

Mr Lynas doubts that the condition of the two buildings requires them to be replaced with a new £36 million facility at Ravenscraig, nor does he believe uncertainty will help school morale.

In a letter to the Times & SPeaker he said: “Talk of a £36 million campus to accommodate the merged schools on the site of the former Ravenscraig steel works is certainly exciting. But I wonder why it is necessary.

“Neither the Our Lady’s nor the Taylor buildings could be described as being in a falling down state of repair.

“No doubt there are ongoing maintenance costs, but then the proposed new campus would also have its ongoing maintenance costs.

“Proposed mergers bring with them a very great deal of stress and strain for everyone involved – staff, parents and pupils alike.

“Conflicts frequently arise between the merging schools as interest groups fight either to retain their own patch and traditions or to dominate in the new situation.

“Both schools seem to have viable numbers and a suitably broad curriculum, again according to the recent HMI reports.

“So at the risk of ending with a cliché, I would suggest: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

On Monday a special meeting of North Lanarkshire Council’s learning and leisure committee agreed to carry out a consultation into the proposed amalgamation of Taylor and Our Lady’s.

The new Ravenscraig campus will also incorporate Bothwellpark ASN High.

Full story in March 5 edition of Times & Speaker.