Portlethen schools set to be discussed

ABERDEENSHIRE Council have responded to calls from Portlethen residents for a follow-up meeting regarding schools provision in the area.

Following two similar meetings held recently at Stonehaven and Lairhillock, members of the public at Tuesday’s meeting of the Portlethen and District Community Council said that they felt that the issues being faced by residents in Portlethen had been ‘overlooked’.

But Aberdeenshire Council have confirmed that a schools provision meeting is planned for Thursday February 9 at Portlethen Academy, from 7pm-9pm.

A previous meeting was held in the town in October, following the local authority’s confirmation that plans for a new primary school at Hillside had been shelved. A large turnout was evidence of the level of concern from worried parents who say that their children’s education could suffer if they are crammed in to the town’s existing primaries, Portlethen and Fishermoss.

Council representatives said at the time that they would get back to residents over several issues that had been raised, and residents are hoping that the February meeting will provide some answers.

Community council chairman Ron Sharp told Tuesday’s meeting: “We have a right to demand the truth and get the facts.”

A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “Our priority is to ensure all children and young people receive the highest quality education in buildings that are fit for purpose now and into the future and we are planning ahead using intelligence from many sources to ensure this happens.

“Aberdeenshire school rolls and capacities are monitored on a regular basis and current data indicates that places are available within the two existing Portlethen primary schools for the foreseeable future.

“Given the accommodation pressures we face in other parts of Aberdeenshire, it is not considered to be a priority to progress the construction of a new primary school at Hillside at the present time.

“A review of the zoning arrangements for schools at the appropriate time will ensure that there will be places for all pupils stemming from housing developments in the area.”