NEW life has been breathed into the campaign to save under-threat South Primary from closure.
Dozens of red, yellow and blue balloons were released into the air by parents and Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP Douglas Alexander went along to show his support.
The much-loved Paisley school could be shut down and Renfrewshire Council has launched a consultation exercise to look at this option, claiming it is two thirds empty and dear to run.
Mr Alexander said: “I have been working with, and supporting, parents ever since the SNP-Lib Dem-led, council proposed this closure.
“The balloon release marks the next stage in the campaign to keep the school – which has the support of parents, pupils and the community – open.
“I think it is time for Renfrewshire Council to listen – and change their minds.”
The council says it costs much more to educate children at the school, which opened in 1986, than it does at other primaries in the area.
But parents have reacted with fury, saying their children have the right to go to school locally, and have been campaigning tirelessly to win a council U-turn.
As the balloons were released into the sky, passing cars tooted their horns in support of the campaign to keep the school gates open.
Mums Lorna Robertson, Jan More and Marissa Corrigan helped orchestrate Friday’s show of strength.
They said: “This was organised to raise awareness about what is happening. A lot of people still don’t know that the school could close.
“We hope this might get through to the council, and also help us get more support in the community. All parents are fighting for the same thing.”
Last month the Paisley Daily Express told how little Ben Riggens, who is in Primary One, wrote to all 40 members of Renfrewshire Council, pleading with them not to close the school he loves.
Ben, with the help of his mum Pauline, 27, penned his heartfelt plea, asking councillors to do all they can to save his school.
He wrote: “I love my school and have made new friends, Mason, Aiden and Jack. My whole family were so proud and tell me I look really smart in my South School uniform.
“My mum and dad have told me that you want to close my school next year. This makes me very sad as I will miss my teacher and all of my friends.
“I really do not want to go to another school. I love my school. I have made new friends. I love my friends. I have a great teacher, Mrs King.”
The consultation will start in November and a report is expected to be put before councillors in December.
A final decision on the future of South Primary will be taken shortly after that.
l You can see video footage of the balloon release on our website under the video section