Pupils taught in freezing cold classes

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Staff at Peterhead Academy admitted that the building is ‘not fit for purpose’ and classrooms get too cold for pupils to even take their jackets off.

The claim was made by the head teacher Shona Sellers, who delivered a presentation to council leaders as part of a regeneration process.

Parts of the building are over 100 years old, and as a result cause significant amount of wasted money and energy in futile attempts to heat them.

It was commented that rooms get too hot during the summer, and plummet to ‘absolutely freezing’ temperatures during the winter; leaving school pupils ‘shivering’.

And a teacher even needed to take time off work as the cold conditions affected their asthma.

Among the attendees were Aberdeenshire Council’s co-leaders Councillor Martin Kitts-Hayes and Councillor Richard Thomson, and Education Learning and Leisure Committee Chair Councillor Alison Evison, who all agreed that the building needs work before it is satisfactory.

Talking to the Buchanie, Cllr Hayes said that they will take what was said into account before finalising plans for the funding which will be announced soon.

He said: “There is no point in throwing good money after bad.

“If you get a good school it will improve the whole town.”

It wasn’t all negative news at the school however, with attainment levels showing positive signs after a two-year dip.

The literacy and numeracy levels have also increased this year. Level 5 literacy and numeracy, which in 2014 was at 21.01%, against a national percentage of 37.64%.

However the gap for that has now been closed somewhat with Peterhead Academy at 42.67% against 43.48%.

Cllr Evison said: “It’s good to see the school show so much improvement.

“I have talked to many pupils in the school and have been impressed by the quality. We would like to support and help them flourish.”

Cllr Richard Thomson added that a quality school the pupils can be proud of is the ‘foundation of any town’.

Talking about the presentation, Cllr Thomson said “it is good to see a head teacher who is committed to the school and pupils but also tells it like it is.”

The team stated that consultation with staff, parents and pupils is still ongoing.

The presentation was a part of a ‘fact-finding’ trip to help decide how funding should be distributed.