Education bosses have been pressed to return “much-loved” equipment to a Speyside school that was removed by mistake.
No classes are currently being held at Inveravon Primary School after the remaining five pupils opted to move during the summer holidays.
However, outdoor equipment including a gazebo, which was funded by the parent council, a poly-tunnel for plants, which was maintained by locals, as well as a shed and sandpit have now been removed without warning.
The school is currently considered “mothballed”, which means lessons could return there if needed.
Residents immediately suspected the items had been stolen but now it has been revealed they were removed from the school by a “well-intentioned” council employee.
Yesterday the authority offered to return the items, which are currently being kept in a store room, if the community wished.
Speyside Glenlivet councillor Louise Laing said: “The council’s agreed to return them. I don’t know if they need them all back at the moment though. It all came as a bit of a shock to everyone. It’s not been closed as a school yet so nobody expected things to be taken away, especially things that aren’t necessarily owned by the council.
“Although there are no pupils there is still a lot of support for the building as a community hub.”
Mrs Laing revealed talks were due to be held in the coming weeks to discuss potential uses for the classrooms.
The future of the buildings will be discussed by Moray Council in March after winter travel arrangements to take nearby pupils to Knockando Primary School instead can be reviewed.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said: “This incident has caused considerable upset, given all the personal time that was dedicated to raising funds for the equipment and building the garden.
“These were much-loved community assets in a school that is currently mothballed – not closed.
“If this was a mistake, hopefully the council can discuss how to make amends.”
A Moray Council spokesman said: “The equipment was removed in error by a well-intentioned member of staff, we assume for security reasons. Please be assured there were and are no plans to permanently remove any equipment from the school.”