Schoolkids paying for their school to keep open

Laura Thomson, 9 and Iain Jackson, 7, are chipping in
Laura Thomson, 9 and Iain Jackson, 7, are chipping in

By Cara Sulieman

CHILDREN at a Scots primary school facing the chop are donating their own pocket money in a desperate bid to save it from the axe.

Pupils at Drumbrae Primary in Edinburgh bandied together to try and win over education chiefs who say that they do not have the resources to keep it open.

The children including Laura Thomson, nine, and Iain Jackson, seven, decided to donate their own cash in the hope it would help.

Their coins have been sent to the three councillors representing the area – Colin Keir, Robert Aldridge and Jenny Dawe – along with a letter saying what the cash is to be used for.

“Getting their attention”

No-one is sure how much has been pledged so far – but the figure looks set to swell.

Because former pupils have also joined the campaign and are sending in their own cash to local councillors.

Elaine Keil, 17, a sixth-year pupil at Craigmount High, said: “They are saying they have not got enough money so we thought if we sent them money and we keep sending them money then this is a way of getting their attention.

“Drumbrae is more than just a school. The staff are lovely and the school as a whole is right in the centre of the community.”

Drop the debt

The consultation on the future of Drumbrae, Royston, Fort and Burdiehouse primary school starts next month.

Karen Keil from the Save Drumbrae Campaign dreamed up the idea after hearing about the Drop the Debt campaign, where people sent money to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

She said: “It caused the government all sorts of bother because they didn’t know what to do with the money – they couldn’t send it back, they couldn’t spend it.

“We thought we would use this method to make the councillors’ lives as difficult as possible.

“Really worried”

“We want to show that these kids are willing to give up something that’s theirs for their school. It’s that important to them.

“The kids don’t understand the ins and outs of what’s happening but they are really worried.

“All they know is that these people who they have never met before are wanting to close their school and it’s really frightening for them.”

But Colin Keir, an SNP councillor, said he would be returning the money he had received.


He added: “I understand it is not an easy time for the parents and children and I do have sympathy for them.”

A council spokesman said they would be pushing ahead with the process.

He added: “These school were selected for the consultation through a process to identify under-occupied schools.

“We must be sure the city’s school are well equipped, well staffed, full of pupils and offer the best value for money.

“This process can help us do that.”