Support workers have informed Nicola Sturgeon that not all Roma children in her Govanhill constituency are in full time compulsory education.
They say that some Roma parents in Govanhill are being forced to wait for almost a year before they can enrol their children in school due to a lack of school placements.
However Glasgow City Council Education Services have refuted the claims, saying that Roma parents unwilling to send their children to schools outwith the Govanhill area are choosing to keep them at home instead.
The support workers employed by the Govanhill Development Trust, which is a subsidiary of Govanhill Housing Association, have called for some kind of transitionary facility for the children. Stating that the children are left to hang around and this is damaging for their morale and career opportunities.
Ms. Sturgeon has asked for a report to be written up to determine just how big an issue this is. Considering that the First Minister declared education to be her key priority, it is astonishing to think that some children in her Govanhill constituency are being deprived of compulsory education.
It is absurd to suggest that charity workers be given public funding to set up a holding or transitory facility to occupy these children for up to a year before a school placement within Govanhill is allocated.
Ms. Sturgeon and Glasgow City Council would be wise to remember that state education for five to sixteen year olds is compulsory. Government has a statutory responsibility to provide that education and parents have a statutory responsibility to ensure their children attend classes.
If demand for school places has exceeded supply in Govanhill, then this suggests that the infrastructure for education, housing, health and social services must also be considered in the report that Ms. Sturgeon has called for.
Regardless of the outcome of the report, non attendance at school for children of compulsory school age is not acceptable.