Final phase of Ardallie School closure plan on the agenda

Ardallie School.
Ardallie School.

The final stage of a closure plan for a small Aberdeenshire school is under way.

The fate of Ardallie Primary is set to be sealed in a few weeks, but councillors are being asked to give their input towards the formal closure.

Members of the Buchan Area Committee gave their views on the consultation and decision-making process on Tuesday and this week it will be the turn of the Formartine Area Committee.

Ardallie has had no pupils since September, 2012, and education bosses began moves towards the end of last year to have the school, near Mintlaw, formally closed and the network rezoned.

An extensive consultation period ran until the middle of February involving teachers, parents and pupils. At a public meeting, the general feeling was that the school should close.

Officials are recommending the catchment area should be divided between Arnage School and Hatton (Cruden) School along the route of the A952. Families living to the west of the route would be zoned for Arnage, while Hatton would be for those residing in the east.

The proposed closure date for Ardallie is Friday, July 4.

At last week’s Buchan Area Committee, Central Buchan councillor Norman Smith said: “It is unfortunate but there is not much we can do at this stage if the school doesn’t have the numbers.”

Councillor Jim Ingram, also Central Buchan, said: “I share the concerns of my fellow committee members but the school is closed and we have to face the fact it will be closed for the foreseeable future.”

Area committee views will be included in a report to the education, learning and leisure committee, who will forward a recommendation to policy and resources councillors for a final decision.

Scottish ministers can call in the decision, if they deem it necessary.