Education bosses are planning to hold a public consultation with a view to changing up school catchment areas in an Aberdeenshire town.
With swathes of new houses planned for Inverurie, council officers say Kellands School there will likely be over capacity by 2020, with the roll at Strathburn School also expected to rise.
They have suggested that the new £10 million primary at Uryside, which opened in 2017, could help bear the brunt of the impending crisis.
Next week councillors will be asked to authorise a consultation with parents, pupils, staff and others in the community to re-shape the schools’ catchment zones.
Options have been drawn up to help balance pupil numbers between the three and, if approved, could be implemented in time for the new term in August 2020.
Officers have reassured parents that none of the youngsters will be asked to move if their catchment area changes.
During an initial questionnaire, they found that “many” were concerned that youngsters would be moved away from their siblings or be made to suddenly carry out a much longer journey to get to school.
But in their report the officers added that, if any of their younger brothers or sisters are not yet enrolled in the school, they will be allowed to attend the same facility to save splitting them up.
Their proposal document says that the proposals: “Would only come into effect either for new children moving into the area, or for the new cohort of P1 pupils in August 2020.”
It added: “It is important that these proposals do not have a negative impact upon any children currently attending schools within the Inverurie cluster and that they have continuity in their education.”
In a report to go before the local authority’s education committee next week, director of education Laurence Findlay said the move may have “staffing and financial implications” for the schools.
He wrote: “Teaching numbers may need to be realigned with school rolls, in line with current agreed staffing formulas.
“Any necessary changes would be implemented from August 2020, and would be in conjunction with HR and unions, in accordance with existing HR policy.”
Councillors on the education committee are recommended to authorise a consultation on the plans, running from June 5 to September 6.
The results would then be analysed and a further report compiled in December.