Aberdeenshire council have made a swift U-turn over plans to consider closing a special needs school less than a week after parents and carers received a letter putting the facility’s future in jeopardy.
As part of Aberdeenshire Council’s education review in Inverurie, proposals were put forward to relocate youngsters from St Andrew’s School to a different facility which parents believed would not cater for their children’s needs.
But, after one concerned mum launched a petition against the plans, Aberdeenshire council have now confirmed “there is no plan to close St Andrew’s School.”
Joanne Jamieson who launched the petition only three days ago has already gained over 2000 signatures after she feared that her son, Rory, would not receive sufficient care in a mainstream school.
A statement released by Aberdeenshire council yesterday stated: “I can assure parents and carers that there is no plan to close St Andrew’s School.
“Our priority is to ensure that young people get the right support, in the right place at the right time, and we encourage any parents to contact us directly with any concerns.
“We would like as much input as possible on all of the options and further engagement events are planned over the next two weeks to get people’s views on the next steps for the project.”
However, in advance of the upcoming consultation evenings, Mrs Jamieson said she wasn’t convinced this was the last parents would hear about the school’s closure.
She added: “I know this is a step in the right direction, but the statement doesn’t actually fill me with confidence.
“I don’t believe, despite this statement, that they have no intentions to close the school in the future.
“A lot of what follows the top line isn’t very clear as to what it is they are planning. In fact, the whole statement tells me they don’t have a plan, but later they might have one that would close the school.
“But I am delighted that the petition was so successful and I look forward to taking it to Aberdeenshire Council with all the comments [from those who signed it since Sunday].
“I do believe that the petition brought the issue to the forefront of everyone’s mind.”