New figures show how a £13million north-east primary school – due to open next year – could ease the pressure on neighbouring schools.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns area committee heard yesterday how Portlethen’s new Hillside Primary would have a knock-on effect on neighbouring school rolls.
Pupil numbers at Portlethen, Banchory-Devenick and Fishermoss primaries are expected to drop in the coming years thanks to the 365-pupils school near Causey Mount Road, which is due to open early next year.
However Newtonhill Primary’s roll is expected to rise from 337 this year to 415 by 2018.
And, currently, Auchenblae, Dunnottar, Laurencekirk and Portlethen primaries are all running at above 100% capacity.
Drumoak Primary, also recorded as running at over-capacity, has just been replaced with a new school with capacity for 145 youngsters – which the council expects will be “sufficient”.
The committee also heard that a formal engagement on the potential rezoning of the Stonehaven schools network will get underway in May.
A planning application has also been launched to extend Laurencekirk Primary.
A council spokeswoman said: “Hillside School will have a marked affect on capacity rolls of Portlethen Primary School, and some reduction on Fishermoss.
“Newtonhill continues to grow in numbers, so (this) takes into account all the housing in Chapelton.”
North Kincardine councillor, Alison Evison – chairwoman of the council’s education, learning and leisure committee – said: “It is really good to see in black and white Hillside progressing.”
North Kincardine councillor, Ian Mollison, concurred, saying: “Hillside is to be welcomed. The sooner it can be opened, the better.”
However school rolls forecast figures from 2015 indicate that, by 2021, Mearns Academy and Auchenblae, Marykirk, Banchory-Devenick, Bervie and Lairhillock will all be in excess of 100% capacity.