School re-zoning consultation comes under scrutiny

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A school re-zoning consultation, being undertaken by Aberdeen City Council, could have a negative effect on pupils in Aberdeenshire.

That’s according to North Kincardine Councillor Ian Mollison who was speaking at a meeting of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee on Tuesday.

Members were asked to make observations on a report and proposed Aberdeenshire Council response to the consultation, before it goes to the Education, Learning and Leisure Committee today (Thursday).

The consultation, which runs until April 2, looks at the re-zoning of Cults Academy, so that those living south of the River Dee would all be zoned to Aberdeenshire academies - either Portlethen or Mackie.

Currently, pupils who attend Lairhillock Primary School are split up after Primary Seven, with those living in the southern half of the zone attending Mackie Academy while those living in the north go to Cults.

Cllr Mollison told members of the area committee that parents he had spoken to in the North Kincardine area were “not happy” with the proposals.

He said: “In my view, we should be doing what is best for the children in our area.

‘‘Some parents think the consultation is being carried out due to Aberdeen City Council approving 500 homes at Milltimber, which would be zoned for Cults Academy.

‘‘That may not be true, but it seems unfair for children to be penalised for that decision.

“I think the report should include our reasons why we support the current arrangement.

‘‘What should be uppermost is the future of the children in our area.

‘‘Educationally and geographically, it would be advantageous for them to continue to be zoned at Cults.”

Fellow councillor Alison Evison said that it should be stressed that this was merely a consultation at this point, and encouraged parents to have their say: “It is a consultation, so I hope parents from Cults, Portlethen and Mackie can put forward a response.”

Parents of all of the schools involved are encouraged to comment, and that can be done on the Aberdeenshire Council website: http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/cultsacademyrezoning/.