Education chiefs have rejected claims they are introducing a retraining scheme for specialist teachers to mask real staffing numbers.
Earlier this month it emerged that visiting teachers, who are responsible for going into a number of schools each week to deliver subjects including music, art and languages, have received a letter telling them their role would be scrapped.
Instead, the council hopes to integrate them as “core school staff”.
The letter sparked a political row, with the opposition Partnership group claiming the plans would place rural schools under threat which rely on visiting teachers to deliver a rounded curriculum.
Vincent Docherty, head of secondary education and additional support previously said the move was part of an ongoing process to “evolve” and improve schooling in the area.
However, last night, one veteran specialist accused the authority of trying to manipulate staffing numbers in order to avoid fines from the Scottish Government.
Councils face financial penalties if their teacher-pupil ratio does not meet national standards.
The teacher, who did not wish to be named, said: “Aberdeenshire Council has been fined in the past for not having enough teachers in primary schools.
“I have racked my brain and I can’t see any other reason why they would ask someone like me to retrain as a primary teacher.
“They have also offered us the opportunity to become secondary teachers, which I believe the majority of us were previously, but that would still involve re-training because so much has changed in the past few years.”
But last night, Aberdeenshire Council denied the claims and said the initiative would not impact on staffing levels.
A spokeswoman said: “We are making strenuous efforts to recruit all the teachers we require.
“The Scottish Government expectation is that local authorities maintain pupil teacher ratio – this includes all teachers in schools – including visiting teachers.”
The authority has already started meeting with specialists to discuss their options for the future.