Tory candidate attacked over Jewish school claim

The Tory Parliamentary candidate for East Renfrewshire has been criticised for accusing the local Labour-led council of a "poverty of ambition" for Scotland's sole Jewish school.

Richard Cook claimed the council was sacking a child development officer at the Calderwood Lodge Primary's nursery.

This was swiftly denied by a council spokesperson, who suggested: "Mr Cook is not up to date with developments." The Calderwood nursery was operating below capacity for the second successive year and there had been a suggestion to reduce capacity, resulting in a child development officer being made redundant.

However, after the intervention of Dianna Wolfson, a former Calderwood head and the Jewish representative on East Renfrewshire's education committee, the matter was being reconsidered.

Mrs Wolfson said on Wednesday: "I raised cuts to nursery numbers with the council but nothing is finalised. I'm really upset this has been taken out of context. The council has done everything in its power to support the school."

Calderwood Lodge maintains a 70 per cent Jewish pupil population, but has falling student numbers as the Glasgow Jewish community declines. Campaigns have been run to encourage Jewish families to send their children to the school.

    Last updated: 11:34am, April 29 2010