Councillors back plans to close primary schools in Aberdeen City

Aberdeen City Council exterior good quality image
Primary closures: Councillors have agreed to move forward with plans that could see primary schools close.© HEMEDIA / SWNS Group

Councillors have backed plans to close primary schools in Aberdeen.

Following a review of the city’s school estate, officials at Aberdeen City Council agreed to more than 80 recommendations on Thursday at the local authority’s education, culture and sport committee.

Under the plans, Quarryhill and Bramble Brae primaries will merge with pupils moving to the Quarryhill site.

Middleton Park and Glashieburn primaries will also merge under the proposals with a "new" school formed at Glashieburn. Abbotswell and Kirkhill primaries will close with a new school created on an as yet unidentified site.

Councillor Gordon Townson, who objected to moving forward with the plans, said: "These plans could be quite damaging for both pupils and staff. Before any decision is made, we need to see some figures that show exactly how these schools will be affected."

Councillor Jenny Laing said: "I was happy with the decision today, particularly in relation to Middleton Park. They were here five years ago and it is a painful and difficult process for children, parents and staff.

“We need to make sure that the decisions that we are taking are the best that they can possibly be for the children and young people of Aberdeen.

"We have had a number of emails from worried parents raising questions about the educational benefit, safety, the buildings suitability so there are concerns and we need to address those concerns.

"Once we have the outcome we will get a firm decision one way or the other so that this uncertainty that we have had over the years should be removed."

A six-month consultation period will now be launched, where the changes will be discussed with schools, teachers and parents.

Councillors will then have a final vote on the issue before a report is sent to Education Scotland for final approval.

At the meeting, it was also agreed that 14 Victorian era schools - dating back as far as the 1930s - should under go refurbishment and some of the schools could close in as early as two years.

A report to councillors report stated: "There is a requirement to improve the suitability of the granite-built Victorian Schools which are located within established communities across the city.

"A programme to improve suitability should be instigated which would involve exploring possible alterations to internal and external facilities."

Catchment areas for some schools will also be altered under the proposals.

Council officials described it as "an opportunity to ensure that primary schools are zoned to a single academy and all areas in the city are only zoned to a single primary or secondary school."

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