Informal consultations have taken place with in an effort to ensure the future of Buchan primary schools.
North-east parents were invited this week to engage with a council review of the Mintlaw primary school network after concerns were raised about the pressures being placed on classes.
Many schools across the region are either sitting half-empty or are bursting at the seams.
When the concerns were first highlighted last year, only two schools in the Peterhead area were operating within capacity. But it’s hoped changing the catchment areas will alleviate the strain.
The consultations, which ended last night, were driven by local councillors urging Aberdeenshire Council to gather the views of the people most affected by any rezoning – parents.
A spokeswoman for the authority said: “The rezoning exercise and engagement is focusing on Mintlaw Primary, Pitfour School, Stuartfield School, Fetterangus School, Longside School and Maud School.”
The drop-in sessions featured maps with proposed new catchment areas, and allowed the opportunity for questions to be asked to education officers.
The spokeswoman added: “After these informal sessions, feedback will be gathered and full proposals drawn up for a six-week statutory consultation, which would involve an additional public meeting.
Earlier this month, Mintlaw councillor Jim Ingram shook up a Buchan area committee meeting when he said there was a “challenge” facing schools across central Buchan.
Last night, he maintained the consultations were a “step in the right direction”.
But he added: “The schools in Mintlaw are pretty near capacity.
“They’re looking at the options of rezoning some of the catchment area at Stuartfield, but it would be up to the parents to come forward with their comments at this stage in the game.
“We want to hear what their views are. My own view is that we need a village solution, so we don’t have youngsters growing up together and then being forced to go to different schools in different locations – but that’s an argument for another day.”