When the Kilwinning Councillors were invited along to a meeting of Kilwinning Academy Parent Council last March they heard the frustrations of the parents that the school hadn't received the capital investment that it needed.
The building will be 40 years old in 2017 but little has changed since. The school doesn’t have a dedicated dining hall, still has a red blaze sports pitch and at the time the promise of installing Wi-Fi over the summer hadn’t materialised.
With North Ayrshire Council conducting a review of the school estate at that time Joe left the meeting with a sense that the time to act was now.
He approached the Parent Council with the idea of running a campaign for investment in the school and from that a petition was launched > https://www.change.org/p/north-ayrshire-council-time-for-investment-in-kilwinning-academy-b0b57775-8bec-49ab-bb54-09837254f6cf
Within a few hours over 500 people had signed it.
In the weeks that followed that number grew as Joe revealed that Kilwinning Academy had received less capital investment than every other secondary school in North Ayrshire.
The petition was handed in around a month later with over 1300 signatures.
And used his local newspaper column to praise the incredible work of the Parent Council on this and other issues.
At this years budget a multi-million pound investment in Kilwinning Academy was secured. Joe is now working with Council officers to ensure that pupils, parents and staff are involved in the development of ideas on what the investment should be spent on.