Glasgow school opening delayed due to 'Covid and rising costs'

The school will be created on the site of the former St James' Primary <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
The school will be created on the site of the former St James' Primary (Image: Newsquest)

THE opening of Glasgow’s fourth Gaelic school has been delayed by a year.

Glasgow City Council’s education, skills and early years committee heard that Covid and rising costs were to blame for the hold-up.

The Calton Gaelic Primary School, Bun-sgoil Ghaidhlig a’ Challtainn, which will be located in the former St James Primary School building in the East End, was due to open by the start of session 2024/25.

However, a report from officials to the committee stated: “The chosen site for development is the former St James Primary School and building work is underway to construct the new Calton Gaelic primary with parts of the old building being retained as well as a whole new section.

“It was hoped that the building would be ready by the start of session 2024/25, however, this is now likely to be session 2025/26. This is due to the condition of the old building, impact of the pandemic and rising costs of materials.”

It is anticipated the new school will now open in August 2025.

Currently, pupils are based in an annexe at North Kelvinside Primary School. From August 2023, this will be called Bun-sgoil Ghaidhlig a Challtainn (Glasgow Calton Primary School) and recruitment is underway for an acting headteacher on a 23-month secondment period.

The report also noted: “It is hoped that by doing this now, the school will begin to develop its own identity and this should ensure a smoother transition when the new building is ready to be occupied.”

READ NEXT: Glasgow school to publish book to mark 150th anniversary

Glasgow City Council first began to develop Gaelic education when it opened Bun-sgoil Ghaidhlig Ghlaschu in Ashley Street, Woodlands, in 1999. It is now the largest provider of Gaelic education in Scotland after the Western Isles and Highland councils, with around 1300 pupils enrolled.

The new school will become the fourth Gaelic school in the city, joining Glasgow Gaelic School, Glendale Primary and Govan Gaelic Primary.

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said families had been informed about the delay and would be kept up to date on progress.

They added: “Factors outwith our control have resulted in a slight delay to the refurbishment and extension to the former school building but works are well underway.

“Glasgow has the largest provision of Gaelic Medium Education (GME) outside of the Highlands and we are very proud of our commitment which will see the fourth primary school building in the city for our citizens looking to have their child taught in GME.

“The delay is due to sourcing of building materials, the aftermath of the impact of Covid and changes to the scope of work due to unforeseen factors in the building.”

St James Primary, on Green Street, was built in 1885 and occupied until 2009, when remaining pupils were moved to Alexandra Parade Primary.