Aberdeenshire schools set to merge as proposed 'super-school' unaffordable

The new school at Foveran was welcomed by local members
-Credit: (Image: Google Maps)

Aberdeenshire Council is putting plans for a new 300-pupil school at Foveran on hold for the next five years as it simply can’t afford it.

Councillors agreed to replace the village school with a brand new state-of-the-art campus last February.

But now, the cash-strapped local authority will look to merge Foveran and Tipperty schools instead.

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It is hoped the move would address the rising pupil roll at Foveran and the declining numbers at Tipperty.

Under the alternative plan, the two existing school buildings will remain in use.

It is believed the younger P1-3 pupils will be taught at one site, with the older P4-7 in another.

But, the proposed ‘super school’ would be given a new name following the merger if it goes ahead.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson confirmed the change.

He said: “While the longer term plan is to build a new school at Foveran, our current capital plan does not provide for this over the next five years.

“Officers have therefore met with both staff and parents to discuss a proposal to merge Foveran and Tipperty schools utilising both buildings.

“It was the first step in what will be an extended period of informal consultation.”

A statutory consultation on the merger will be launched if approved by the Education and Children’s Services committee.

It is hoped this will begin in October.

The spokesman added: “As with any permanent changes to the estate, the statutory consultation process will fully outline the educational benefits for the pupils involved.”

Members of the local authority’s education committee discussed the proposed new Foveran school last year.

The council wanted to redraw the boundaries for Balmedie and Foveran in a bid to balance the pupil rolls at both schools.

It was hoped a new school at Foveran would help to address overcrowding at both sites.

Plans had also been put forward to build a new school in Balmedie but councillors opted not to move ahead with that option.