Councillors back plans to move Anna Ritchie School to Peterhead Community Campus

Councillors have backed plans to relocate Anna Ritchie School to a new purpose-built facility at the new Peterhead Community Campus.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 2:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 3:08 pm
Buchan Area Committee councillors believe the education of pupils at Anna Ritchie School would benefit from a move to new, purpose-built facilities.

And they've suggested a visit to Inverurie Community Campus could be arranged for parents and carers of children at the school to give them an idea of the new set-up.

Buchan Area Committee members considered responses from a statutory consultation regarding the potential relocation of the school to the new community campus at Kinmundy.

The consultation included a virtual public meetingattended by 27 people who raised concerns on matters including the size of the new school, accessibility, outdoor space and pupils’ privacy.

An online survey was also received feedback from 47 people.

Aberdeenshire Council officers have recommended that the local authority goes ahead with the proposal to close the existing facility and build a new school at the community campus.

They believe the recommendation is the “most suitable option” for Anna Ritchie School and that any benefits of relocating the school would outweigh any challenges or concerns.

Commenting at Tuesday’s meeting, Councillor Dianne Beagrie suggested that committee members and also parents and carers of children at Anna Ritchie get to visit the new Inverurie Community Campus .

Councillors Stephen Smith and Anne Simpson supported the suggestion of a visit stating that it would be “very helpful” especially for parents and carers.

Councillor Stephen Calder said he supported the relocation of the school but stressed that it was important the school retain its identity in a purpose-built part of the new campus.

He said: “The additional benefits to the pupils of Anna Ritchie in a purpose-built facility is something that we can really look forward to and would add to the education of the pupils.”

Councillor Alan Fakley added: “I think in this case the educational benefits far outweigh the concerns and I think it will be extremely beneficial that Anna Ritchie retains its identity within a new 21st century environment.”

The proposed new school at Kinmundy would have capacity for 70 pupils but could accommodate fluctuations in the school roll.

As well as having its own specialist classroom facilities the school would have access to the wider campus facilities as well as its own outdoor space featuring play equipment and a sensory garden.