SNP Councillors Push for Council to Look Again at Blackdog School Options

>> 5 February 2023

Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee met on Thursday 2nd February to discuss options for primary school provision in South Formartine. Provision in the area has to be enhanced due to rising school rolls and increasing numbers of planned housing.

In the paper before committee, two options were provided by officers: a replacement school at Foveran, or an additional school at Balmedie.

The SNP Councillors on the committee moved a motion for the Director of Education to bring back an options appraisal on educational provision in Blackdog, instead of pushing ahead with either of the options presented in the paper. Administration councillors wanted to move forward only with a replacement school at Foveran, and after the two options went to a vote, the SNP motion lost by 5 votes to 11.

Commenting, Opposition Spokesperson for Education and Children’s Services, Cllr Louise McAllister said;

“Today we tried to add a recommendation to the paper to reopen the possibility of educational provision in Blackdog itself, because we did not feel that the other two options were in the best interests of all of the communities involved.

“For a number of reasons, it absolutely makes more sense for any new school to be placed within Blackdog, and we do not feel that the reasons we have heard against placing a school there are strong enough to discount it.

“Whilst a new school in Foveran is welcome for the families living in the village and surrounding areas, it does not adequately deal with the forecast significant increase in pupils around the Blackdog developments, and will place more pressure on the council in the long term.”

Local Councillor and Depute Opposition Spokesperson, Cllr Jenny Nicol added:

“We know that public opinion was largely in favour of educational provision in Blackdog, and the final decision taken by the tory led administration seems hugely short sighted.

“Whilst we understand that a decision needs to be made soon, time limits should not be forcing us into making the wrong decision, and I do believe that we have missed a good opportunity to move forward sensibly here.”

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