by Ian Yuill on 27 March, 2016
The council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee agreed on 24th March to create a new school zone covering the site of the 3,000 new houses planned for Countesswells.
I consistently opposed the proposal to build 3,000 houses at Countesswells because of the impact this would have on local schools, facilities and roads. Sadly, despite opposition from local residents and Liberal Democrat councillors, the land at Countesswells was ultimately zoned for housing.
Given the Countesswells development is set to go ahead, I believe the revised proposals for rezoning and accommodating the new primary school for Countesswells until a new school building is built are as fair as possible to both the Airyhall School community and the new residents of the Countesswells development.
The Education and Children’s Services Committee agreed to:
(a) Create a new primary school zone to serve primary education provision in the Countesswells development, with effect from August 2016; and
(b) Create a new secondary school zone to serve secondary education provision in the Countesswells development, with effect from August 2016, and to include the zone of Kingswells School within the zone of the new secondary school, with effect from the time of opening of the new school; and
(c) Put in place arrangements for interim education provision until a primary school and a secondary school are constructed within the Countesswells development. For secondary pupils from Countesswells this would involve the use of Hazlehead Academy until a new secondary school has been constructed. For primary school pupils from Countesswells the arrangements would be as follows:
1. Pupils living in the new Countesswells primary school zone would be registered at a new school from the outset.
2. Whilst the number of pupils registered to the new school remains at 25 or below, the new school would operate from a separate classroom within the Airyhall School building.
3. When the number of pupils registered to the new school exceeds 25, all of these pupils and any new pupils subsequently moving into the new Countesswells primary school zone would be educated from the Braeside School building, until a new school building at Countesswells has opened.
4. Whilst the new school is operating from the Airyhall building and subsequently from the Braeside building, places at the new school would be reserved entirely for children living within the new Countesswells school zone.
(d) In the unlikely event that the Countesswells housing development does not go ahead, then the existing school zone arrangements would prevail.
Unfortunately the SNP councillors on the Education committee attempted to score political points and scaremonger rather than focus on the best interests of the children who are attending Airyhall School and who will attend the new primary school for Countesswells.
You can read the report presented the the Education Committee, including details of consultations carried out and comments from Education Scotland, here.