Schools consultation process moves forward

editorial image

a CONSULTATION event has been held at Portlethen Academy to give parents a chance to put forward their views for the preferred way of providing primary education in the town.

It was reported last month that the two existing primary schools, Portlethen and Fishermoss, were not going to be able to cope with the number of children in Hillside, and Aberdeenshire Council asked members of the public to comment on whether a third school would be the best option.

Other options included closing Portlethen Primary and building a new Hillside Primary, however this proved very unpopular, with a huge majority expressing the opinion that a third school was the way forward.

North Kincardine Councillor Alison Evison, who was at last week’s meeting, said: “It was excellent that this consultation event was held, giving parents and other interested parties a real opportunity to feed their views into the decision - making process.

“It was a pity that not many people were free to come along to the consultation. However it was great to see that Portlethen Primary Parent Council had done their own survey to which over 100 parents responded.

“I am aware that many parents were dissatisfied with the method of recording their views at the consultation and I will take their comments back.

“There was a general feeling expressed at the consultation that Portlethen needs to become a three primary school town and this message will be taken forward to the next stage.

“I was at the consultation for two-and-a-half hours and welcomed the chance to discuss the issues in depth with individual parents. Many balance looking after children with their working lives and, therefore, issues like the location of a school are really important.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s head of Ssrvice for education, Wilf Weir, said: “A community engagement event was held in Portlethen on Wednesday, April 24.

“Members of the community were invited to comment on five options for future educational provision in the Portlethen area.

“The options had been considered by stakeholders at a meeting in March and last week’s meeting was a chance for local residents to discuss the options.

“Elected members also attended and council officers were available to answer questions.

“‘‘This is part of an overall assessment of educational provision in the Portlethen area. Comments gathered from the engagement event will inform the assessment process, which will be reported to appropriate committees and stakeholders.”

Kincardine and Mearns area committee are set to discuss the matter at their meeting later this month.