A tiny north-east primary school where the annual cost of educating each pupil is more than £32,000 has a bright future, council officers have said.
Aberdeenshire Council tried to mothball Strachan Primary School last year when the roll dropped from 19 to just two pupils.
But parent power forced the authority into a u-turn and now the roll has slowly begun to climb.
During yesterday’s education committee, schools chief Andrew Griffiths revealed that the number of names on the Strachan register has doubled since last year.
“There are four children with an expectation for a slight increase,” Mr Griffiths said. “At the moment the school continues to operate as a small primary school in Aberdeenshire.
“Officers are continuing to monitor the situation.”
Huntly councillor Moira Ingleby asked officers what the costs per pupil is for keeping the school near Banchory open, and if the youngsters are getting a broad education.
Mr Griffiths responded that the current Strachan class is enjoying “really good outdoor education” and is working with other local schools to make sure the children have a wider social circle.
A total of £130,000 is spent on Strachan annually, putting the cost per head at £32,500. However this figure could drop dramatically if the roll increases as expected.
New school roll forecasts suggest the number of children at the primary school will rise from two last year to 21 by 2021. The school has a capacity of 47 pupils.
Ellon councillor Isobel Davidson, a former chairwoman of the committee, said: “I know there is house building in the area so there are opportunities for the roll to grow.”
There is currently land earmarked for 15 new houses in village which could bring dozens of new youngsters into the area.
The school roll dropped dramatically last year when it was suggested Strachan could become a “one classroom, one teacher” primary.
The move appeared to prompt 17 families to withdraw their children and enrol them at Banchory, Hill of Banchory and Finzean schools instead.
However, a concerted campaign from parents forced the authority to reconsider the decision.