Consultation set for academy provision

Inverurie Academy
Inverurie Academy

Aberdeenshire Council’s director of education and children’s services, Maria Walker, has written to Green Party councillor Martin Ford giving a timescale for decisions on enhanced secondary school provision in the A96 corridor.

Cllr Ford, who represents East Garioch ward and is a member of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, wrote to Maria Walker on 24 October expressing concern about the delay in taking a decision on how to provide additional capacity required because of rising school rolls.

For the past two years the Council has been considering options for enhanced secondary capacity for the A96 corridor between Blackburn and Inverurie.

Maria Walker has intimated that the council now have all the relevant information in place and consultation within the Council, with parents and the community will take place over the next two months.

Any decisions will be made by the Garioch Area Committee, the Education, Learning & Leisure Committee and the Policy & resources committee.

Cllr Ford said: “I am pleased to have a clear assurance that the information required for a decision is all available, and that the decision-making process will be completed by March.

“I would be very concerned indeed if there was to be any further delay in reaching a conclusion about how to proceed.

“I would be much happier if the decision had been taken before now. As experience with the new Kintore primary school shows, unexpected delays are always a risk. So the Council needs to take its decisions in good time, so that additional accommodation can be in place when it is needed.

“Whilst, obviously, I do not know what officers will recommend for future secondary provision in the A96 corridor, the forecast numbers do look too high for just two academies.”