Future of schools

The FINAL dates are approaching for people to have their say on the future of Aberdeenshire Council’s schools.

In August last year, councillors approved the launch of an extensive consultation on Aberdeenshire schools which runs until this month.

The first stage of the process took the form of an online questionnaire which ran in August and September.

The second stage of the consultation, which is now underway, is taking the form of a series of community-based stakeholder events in venues across Aberdeenshire.

The consultation is looking at issues ranging from the condition of buildings to demographic changes affecting school rolls.

Most sessions have now taken place, with the remaining ones for children’s services networks (CSN) for schools in the Kemnay and Portlethen areas, to take place at Kintore Primary School on Thursday, February 2, from 7pm-9pm and Portlethen Academy on Thursday, February 9, from 7pm-9pm.

A report on the outcome of the consultation is expected to come before the council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee in March.

More information on the consultation can be found at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/buildingimprovements/ellestateconsultation.asp

Meanwhile, it emerged last week that progress was being made towards the provision of two new schools in the region.

Overcrowding and soaring rolls mean that Kinellar School needs to be replaced by a larger building on a new site in Blackburn, while a second primary is required at Kintore.

East Garioch Councillor Martin Ford has been pressing the council to make a firm commitment to a new academy in Blackburn and a second primary in Kintore.

He said the authority must make investment in new schools a priority.

The council has started consulting users of the current schools in Blackburn and Kintore about the facilties that would need to be included in new buildings.