MORE than 500 pupils representing Barrhead’s eight Catholic and non-denominational primary and secondary schools joined forces to march against sectarianism back in 2009.

East Renfrewshire Provost Alex Mackie led the colourful procession from Carlibar Primary, through the town and up Main Street before a rally took place in Cowan Park.

The march marked the end of a programme of activities at local schools which adopted the theme of ‘Respect.’

These included various sporting challenges, as well as a project to print special T-shirts for the march.

The aim was to bring youngsters together to promote understanding between pupils of different faiths.

The schools involved were Barrhead High, St Luke’s High, Springhill Primary, Cross Arthurlie Primary, Auchenback Primary, Carlibar Primary, St John’s Primary and St Mark’s Primary.

At the time, Helen Glen, headteacher at Springhill Primary, said: “Our anti-sectarian march comes at the end of a year of working together and breaking down barriers.

“All of the schools are fully committed to promoting harmony and our united march is a sign to Barrhead that our young people have no place for sectarianism in their lives.”

Provost Mackie added: “I am proud to lead our schools in a march which says a loud ‘no’ to sectarianism.”