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Longhaven School’s future under threat after council committee recommends closure

The Longhaven Primary School building
Longhaven Primary School has been closed since October 2018. Picture by Chris Sumner

The future of Longhaven School is under threat after an Aberdeenshire Council committee recommended its closure.

The authority’s education and children’s services committee agreed for a report to be presented to full council to close the primary school, which has been mothballed since October 2018.

The committee met today for the first time, in the new local government term.

In April 2018, pupils were temporarily relocated from the school due to difficulties with appointing a head teacher. While the number of children at the school fell to just 12 during the 2017-18 school term.

Aberdeenshire Council HQ at Woodhill House, Aberdeen. Photo by Paul Glendell/DCT Media.
Aberdeenshire councillors will make the decision later this month. Picture by Paul Glendell

In August 2019, committee members approved an options appraisal to begin to assess the school’s future. The first public engagement session was held in the October of that year.

A second session was postponed due to Covid-19, with an online survey and a letter being posted to every address within the Longhaven School catchment area.

Majority in favour of closure

In total, 13 responses were received, with nine being in favour of its closure and four against.

In December 2021, committee members agreed plans for a statutory consultation to be held into the permanent closure of the school and for the catchment area to be reassigned.

The consultation was held between December 7 2021 to February 24, with the Buchan area committee approving the proposals in April.

Chairwoman of Aberdeenshire Council’s education and children’s services committee, Councillor Gillian Owen, said: “Any decision to close a school is not taken lightly. I would like to pay tribute to the council officers who have worked tirelessly to ensure every option is considered.

“I am also grateful to members of the community who shared their views either in the consultation, survey or at the public meeting.”

During the full council meeting, which will take place on June 30, plans will also be considered for Longhaven School’s catchment area to be reassigned to Boddam and Port Erroll schools.

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