CONCERNS have been raised over the number of pupils from outside East Renfrewshire being taught in the area’s schools.

The Barrhead News can reveal that, last term, a total of 2,190 pupils were being taught at schools in the authority area, despite living in neighbouring council zones.

Currently, around 13 per cent of pupils attending East Renfrewshire schools live in Glasgow and South Lanarkshire.

Some kids originally lived in their school’s catchment area and continued to attend there after moving to a neighbouring authority.

Councillor Charlie Gilbert, who represents Newton Mearns North and Neilston for the Conservatives, said: “This will absolutely put pressure on our school system.

“We need to make sure we are having a word with the education department and find out if there are particular schools affected more than others.

“I would say that parents will absolutely be wary of anything that could affect their children’s education. There’s not a great deal that can be done immediately to reduce numbers dramatically but I would encourage parents to call the school and speak to the headteacher if they have any specific concerns.”

Schools in East Renfrewshire consistently perform well in exams. An East Renfrewshire Council spokesman admitted that, as the area’s schools are popular, they attract a high number of placing requests.

He added: “Each year, more than 16,500 pupils are educated across the area’s 29 schools. All placing requests received are processed in line with the council’s admissions policy, which includes allocating places using clearly outlined priorities and granting places, unless there is a valid legal reason not to do so.

“Where the number of placing requests received is greater than the number of places available in the school requested then these priorities are applied to ensure places are allocated in a fair and equitable way.”

Placing requests are required if parents want their child to go to a school outside of their catchment area or if kids are going to East Renfrewshire schools from outside the authority area.

Pupils who lived in East Renfrewshire when they started their education then moved to another authority must make a placing request to remain at their school.

The Education Directorate are ultimately responsible for granting or refusing placing requests.

In each school there are a number of “reserved” places for catchment pupils and those likely to become residents in the school’s catchment area.

If a school is oversubscribed by “catchment demand” criteria are used to allocate places, including whether siblings attend the school and whether there are medical needs which can be supported only in the requested school.

In Catholic schools, parents who live in the catchment area and whose children have been baptised as Catholic would receive priority.

The council spokesman added: “Parents have the right to make a placing request for their child or children to be educated in a school other than their local catchment school.”