Pupils travel 40 miles for lessons

A lack of teachers in some specialist subjects means pupils having to travel for lessons.
A lack of teachers in some specialist subjects means pupils having to travel for lessons.

The Lib-Dems have slammed a situation which has seen pupils in Aberdeenshire travelling 40 miles by taxi to continue their studies.

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart has demanded the Education Secretary take urgent action to cut the “unreasonable” distances between classes, after new research by the Liberal Democrats revealed pupils have been forced to travel 40-mile trips to study basic core subjects.

Freedom of information requests revealed pupils had been travelling up to 40 miles since 2017.

Ms Wishart commented: “People will be gobsmacked to discover young people being forced to travel to get lessons.

“You can only imagine how many hours these journeys take out of the school day.

“That’s precious time that could be better spent learning or engaging in extra-curricular activities.

“This isn’t the fault of councils, many of which have worked tirelessly to find staff they need but with little luck,” she said.

“The Education Secretary must admit these commutes are completely unreasonable and take urgent action on staff shortages to ensure pupils don’t have to trek miles between classes.”

A council spokesman said: “Across our 17 secondary schools pupils are being encouraged to access a broader curriculum with an increasing number of courses each year. Timetables are developed locally to meet the preferences of as many students as possible.

“The vast majority of pupils in Aberdeenshire are able to follow their chosen courses in their own schools but where there are requests for subjects that are in low demand or not available locally we will look to accommodate such requests where we can.”