Council chiefs are to review their decision to cut a summer school for children with complex needs - following a series of meetings with angry parents.

Last week the Barrhead News revealed how two weeks of vital holiday activities at Isobel Mair School in Newton Mearns had been axed.

In the past East Renfrewshire Council has extended the school year at Isobel Mair for two weeks into July to provide for up to 150 pupils, giving parents some much needed respite.

But the number of children being offered summer places has been reduced to just 37, over fewer days, as part of a cost-cutting exercise to save £62,000.

Last week parents had a series of crisis meeting with councillors and council officials.

They demanded that the extended school year be reinstated and the savings found from elsewhere.

Councillors said they would consider their request and look at what alternatives could be provided.

The biggest meeting was last Tuesday evening when more than 60 parents and councillors took part.

Parents asked why a £200,000 underspend from the the education budget was used to fund a £1.9 million sports facility at nearby Mearns Castle High and not used to offset the cuts at Isobel Mair.

But the council insisted that the cash was already committed to the Mearns Castle project and could not be reallocated.

A petition calling for the decision to be reversed has already attracted more than 4,000 signatures.

Barrhead woman Selina Yau, 30, who is a carer for her 16-year-old brother, said the annual two-week programme gave parents and carers a much-needed summer break.

Selina, who launched the petition, added: “It was good to hear some councillors say that the budget cut was a mistake and that they were looking at a solution.

“But [it was] disappointing to know that they voted this through when there aren’t any alternatives in place for pupils like my brother.

“It is still very upsetting to know that we are facing a huge, long summer without any support.

“It has not been very well thought out and we need a solution fast.”

Tracey Campbell, co-chair of Isobel Mair Parent Council, commented: “The officials agreed that they would look at other council budgets to see if money for Isobel Mair could be found.

“We were told that the existing extended school year service could be redesigned if the parents were prepared to work with them which we are.

“I don’t know if they will be able to do anything this year.

“However we would like to see the services redesigned for next year as they were, if not better.”

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “We are focussed on providing support for as many children as possible in the upcoming summer holiday period.

“Following positive discussions with the parent council, we are confident that a range of options can be provided to parents next week, which will include working with a number of partners.

“In the longer term, any potential change to the arrangements now in place would be a matter for councillors to consider and decide.”