Councillors have agreed to lift the class-size limit at an Aberdeen primary school from 18 to 25 pupils in a move that has been criticised as "short-sighted" by opponents.
Aberdeen City Council’s education, culture and sport committee met on Thursday to deal with some of the immediate issues over pupil numbers facing the city’s primary schools.
Seven schools, including St Peter's RC, were projected to be unable to meet demand next term and councillors were called upon to agree a series of solutions to deal with the problem.
Members voted by 18 to six to lift the cap on primary one classes at St Peter's from 18 to 25 to cope with the higher than expected number of new pupils.
The school had been one of 11 primary schools in Aberdeen’s regeneration areas to impose a maximum number of 18 pupils in P1 to P3 classes.
An amendment put forward by Councillor Jim Noble for a temporary classroom unit to be provided and the 18 pupil class limit maintained was rejected.
Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart said: “This is a fantastic school that covers a hugely diverse community. I fear that this short sighted move will have a seriously detrimental effect on the children who attend this school.
"If we are serious about closing the attainment gap in the city's schools then we need to invest more in those that need it."
The committee’s convener, Councillor Jenny Laing, said: “There are clearly issues that need to be addressed immediately and the committee has put in place steps to tackle some of the over-capacity issues facing us for the next school term.
"However, this decision is not about quick fixes, it’s about making the right decision so that our schools are in the right places and able to provide facilities that are suitable for delivering education in the 21st century."
Councillor Jennifer Stewart said the solution was better than an alternative proposal to bus pupils to the other Catholic primary schools in the city, St Joseph’s or Holy Family.
Meanwhile, members also backed plans to relocate an adult learning room at Seaton Primary from the first floor to the ground floor to accommodate an additional classroom.
At Mile End the former school library will be converted into a classroom, while a temporary classroom unit will be installed at Milltimber.
Adult learning rooms will be turned into classrooms at Kaimhill and Manor Park, while Riverbank’s library will be turned into a classroom.
Councillors also agreed that a public consultation exercise will take place to establish the local authority’s long-term school estate plan.
The public engagement exercise is to coincide with the new school term in August.
Following the consultation, officers will report back to the committee in November with recommendations for a long-term school estate plan, which will reflect the changing demographic factors across the city.