An Aberdeen private school has revealed it plans to get all pupils back to school next term – by teaching in a nearby church.
Albyn School will move some primary classes to the halls and and Sanctuary of Queen’s Cross Church after the summer break the summer break.
It will allow the independent school to bring back all of its pupils five days a week next term.
School bosses said the move would likely last from August 20 right through until Christmas.
The Scottish Government has advised schools to extend the space available for use for teaching in an effort to get as many youngsters back in classrooms after summer.
Queen’s Cross Church has three halls, usually allowing space for around 200 people – although physical distancing will reduce capacity significantly.
The Sanctuary is a much larger space, used for church services and a range of events including conferences and arts performances. It can normally host 400.
Acting headteacher David Starbuck has said: “We are delighted to work with our friends at Queen’s Cross Church.
“It enables us to provide the space for Albyn to deliver full-time learning for all pupils five days a week next term.
“These classes will commence at Queen’s Cross Church from August 20, and will last through to the October holidays and is likely to continue through to Christmas.”
Albyn School, five minutes walk from Queen’s Cross, viewed it as the “natural choice” for its temporary annex as its minister, Rev Scott Rennie, is the school chaplain.
Rev Rennie said: “We are pleased to be able to build on our community partnership with Albyn.
“We have a long history of happy association with the school and pupils and staff often help us deliver some of the many initiatives and assistance we offer to people.”
The news comes as the city’s council-run schools prepare plans to bring pupils back on August 11.
Last week the local authority released its phased plan for a physically-distanced return to school.
Given the need for 53 sq ft of space per child, it is thought only a third of all pupils will be able to attend school at any one time, at most.
Education chiefs have admitted given the variation from school to school, that maximum of a third is unlikely to be reached across the board.
If lockdown is eased to phase two tomorrow, staff could be allowed to return to school buildings on a restricted basis.
Both the council and other independent schools are exploring using additional buildings to bolster their capacity for pupils where possible.