SCOTLAND’S largest local authority is not expected to review its position which allows one of the world’s largest weapons’ manufacturers to deliver science and engineering workshops to school pupils.

It is understood there will be no change on permitting defence companies to visit schools and deliver workshops, following discussions by SNP councillors at Glasgow City Council earlier this week.

A debate over whether arms firms should be allowed to take pupils’ science sessions has arisen after two parents at the Glasgow Gaelic School complained to The National last week over a workshop run by BAE Systems.

They said it was not appropriate that a firm which manufactures aircraft which have been used by Saudi Arabia to drop bombs on Yemen should be permitted on to school grounds.

One said parents had not been informed in advance about the visit.

The article prompted SNP councillors to discuss the matter at their weekly group meeting on Monday with the upshot being that the visits – which began when the authority was under Labour control and have been going on for some years – will continue.

“It was discussed and there was a respectful exchange of views,” said one person who attended.

“The policy of the SNP is the policy of the SNP. We are pro our defence industry and pro our armed forces. We are pro science, engineering and innovation and we are pro working with partners in our schools.

Scotland is a science and engineering world leader.

“[The issue] was raised at a group meeting, but nothing at a weekly group meeting of councillors is going to change the policy of the SNP.”

Patrick Harvie, the co-convener of the Scottish Greens, has now intervened saying the visit was “wrong” and should not have been allowed.

“Parents are right to be concerned that primary school children have been taken out of their usual curriculum to be lectured to by representatives of a weapons manufacturer, one which just last week was exhibiting its products to representatives of the brutal regimes in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Turkey,” he said.

“BAE’s objective is not to promote engineering but rather to normalise the work they do in the arms trade to a young audience. This aggressive public relations campaigning is wrong and should not have been allowed inside school grounds. At the very least, I hope that correct procedures were followed and that parents were asked if they were happy for BAE to make the visit.”

Up to 150 boys and girls were taken out of classes at the Glasgow Gaelic School on Monday last week to attend the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) workshop. The sessions are part of a drive to encourage more girls into STEM subjects and careers.

BAE Systems makes the Eurofighter Typhoon and Typhoon aircraft – both of which have been deployed by Saudi Arabia to drop bombs on Yemen in the ongoing conflict in which thousands of civilians, including children, have been killed.

Dr Douglas Morrison, chair of the parent council at Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu, said: “The BAE Systems workshops have been running since 2006 in Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu without complaint from children or parents. They have been very well received by children, including my own. With the school’s focus on STEM subjects, many parents are wholly supportive of this opportunity for their children to see STEM subjects in action.”

One parent added: “BAE Systems operate at the heart of our city using cutting-edge science, technology and innovation. I fully support the school for organising the event.”

On the subject of the aircraft manufactured by BAE Systems being used to drop bombs on Yemen, he said: “I think it’s despicable what’s happening in Yemen. But the problem is the UK Government has granted export licences allowing the aircraft to be sold to the Saudi Arabia Government.”

Mairi Campbell-Jack, Scottish parliamentary engagement officer for the Quakers, urged Glasgow City Council to review its position.

“A weapons manufacturer whose product is currently killing civilians in Yemen is not an appropriate visitor in schools and we would urge Glasgow City Council to consider the moral and ethical message it is sending to the young people of the city,” she said.

A BAE Systems spokesperson said: “Our schools roadshow, designed to encourage the study of STEM subjects, has been running successfully for twelve years. We have not received complaints about it directly from any school, parent or young person.”

Glasgow City Council did not respond to a request for a comment.