EDUCATION bosses are carrying out a review into future school rolls and existing catchment areas in Inverclyde.

The move comes after a court ruled St Columba's High in Gourock could not accommodate a number of placing requests because it was full.

The case provoked anger from the families involved and concerns were also raised by local politicians.

They have called for action from the council to address issues relating to school capacity and future demand - including plans to build hundreds of houses in areas like Inverkip where there is already pressure on places.

Inverclyde Council say they are reviewing their policies to address any impact on admissions.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, depute leader of the local authority, said: "We have had pressures on schools before, like Clydeview Academy when it first opened.

"We know there are pressures for the next couple of years at St Columba's.

"But we know that we have capacity in our schools to meet the demand of Inverclyde's population.

"We continue to review our policies.

"With regards to Inverkip, there needs to be road infrastructure in place before any houses are built there.

"Any pressure on schools will be addressed because we continue to review our policies."

A number of families recently took the council to court to try to overturn a decision to refuse placing requests.

They were supported by local independent councillor Lynne Quinn and Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan.

Councillor Quinn said: "The council needs to look again at catchment policy.

"The school is at capacity and yet they are planning more houses in Inverkip, one of the catchment areas.

"Where will the children go?

"I think it is really concerning that local families have had to take this case to court."

MSP Mr McMillan also raised concerns about housebuilding plans and the impact this could have on local secondaries.

He added: I was saddened that this dispute ended up in court and that families ultimately have to send their children to different schools from their friends.

"I’m sure that there could have been a different approach taken instead of spending time, effort, resources as well as the emotional strain placed upon the families and the children.

"As detailed in Inverclyde Council’s new local development plan, the council is hoping to see over 1,000 new homes built west of and including the former Ravenscraig hospital site.

"How this will affect school catchment areas is anyone’s guess."

A council spokesman confirmed an exercise is under way to look at school capacity across the district.

He said: "With the work to rebuild and refurbish local schools coming to an end, we have already started to review their capacity.

"This work involves looking at catchment areas, the impact of the admissions and placing request policy and projections about the size of future school rolls.

“By 2020 every child who attends a school run by Inverclyde Council will be educated in either a new or fully refurbished school.

"To date all our schools have been able to accommodate all the pupils who are within their catchment area.

"The recent court case was about placing requests.

"While the majority of placing requests are granted, Inverclyde Council cannot guarantee placing requests for any school.

"It’s council’s role to manage placing requests and this is exactly what has been done at St Columba’s for the academic year 2019/20.

"Had the placing requests been granted, this would have had a significant impact on those attending the school in future years."