Rural school could close down for good after no students enrolled

The school was mothballed when no children turned up for lessons after the summer holidays in 2017.

Inveraron primary school in Ballindalloch could close down for good after no students enrolled LDRS

A primary school in Moray could close for good after no new pupils enrolled in the past five years.

Councillors will be asked to begin statutory consultations to close Inveravon Primary in Ballindalloch for good.

The school was mothballed when no children turned up for lessons after the summer holidays in 2017.

Parents decided to move their children to either Knockando or Aberlour primaries, which are both around six and a half miles away from Inveravon.

In the previous term there were 13 pupils at the school, which has capacity for 50.

In the last five years no parent has enrolled their child at the primary.

Mothballing the school has saved Moray Council almost £118,000 a year.

It would cost £206,000 to bring the school back into use and up to a suitable condition.

The building was gifted to the local authority by Ballindalloch Estate more then 100 years ago.

If the school is closed it will be returned to the original owner, along with about a third of an acre of land the council bought to extend the site in 1926.

Two virtual engagement sessions and a face-to-face event at Speyside High School were held earlier this year as part of an option appraisal on the primary.

While there were suggestions the building could be used for community activities and re-opened as a school, there were more comments saying it should close.

Members of the education, children’s and leisure services committee will discuss the issue on August 24.

In their report, learning estate programme manager Andy Hall said: “Since the school has been mothballed, there have been no requests from parents to enrol their children at the school during the primary one enrolment periods in January 2018, January 2019, January 2020 and January 2021.

“Consequently, during this period the school has remained mothballed.”

If agreed the consultation, which has to be carried out during at least 30 days of term time, will run from August 29 to October 7.

Two public meetings will be held as part of the consultation both on September 27.

The first is at Inveravon Church from 1.30pm, and the second at Speyside High School Community Centre from 7pm.

An online meeting will take place the following day from 7pm.

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