Call to consider new academy

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A councillor is urging Aberdeenshire education bosses to consider a new academy to serve the A96 “corridor”.

East Garioch’s Martin Ford is warning school roll forecasts up to 2018 suggest an increase of more than ten per cent in the overall number of pupils in the region’s schools over the next six years, but with the increase unevenly distributed between different areas.

Councillor Ford raised his concerns at a recent meeting of the education committee when he also pressed for progress on decision about a new primary school for Newmachar.

The proposals are included in the Local Development Plan as part of a significant expansion of the village.

Councillor Ford said rolls have been rising for many years in schools along the A96 corridor, where there has been significant housing development within the school catchment.

Projections show an increase of more than 200 pupils at Kemnay Academy between 2012 and 2018, and a school roll increase of nearly 400 at Inverurie Academy over the same period.

A major extension to Kemnay is under construction to increase capacity.

Councillor Ford told the committee: “The roll projections to 2018 show that decisions are now urgently required on how additional secondary school capacity is to be provided in the A96 corridor.

“Given the increase in pupil numbers forecast and the additional housing included in the Local Development Plan for the period after 2016, it seems clear an additional academy is going to be needed somewhere in the A96 corridor.”