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Potential Closure of Easterfield and Fisherford Primaries: Public Consultation Underway in Aberdeenshire

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Dr. Jessica Nelson
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Potential Closure of Easterfield and Fisherford Primaries: Public Consultation Underway in Aberdeenshire

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Aberdeenshire is currently facing a significant decision regarding its primary education landscape. A public consultation has been launched to consider the permanent closure of two primary schools, Easterfield and Fisherford, both of which have remained unused since 2021. This consultation, set to run until 29th March, is a crucial process that will help shape the future of education in the region.

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The Consultation Process

The Education and Children’s Services Committee of Aberdeenshire Council has agreed to initiate a statutory consultation in accordance with the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010. This consultation aims to ensure the best decision for the children's education and is inviting the whole community to participate in this vital process. The Council has scheduled public meetings on 5th and 6th March at Turriff Primary School, providing a platform for open dialogue and discussions about the proposed closures.

Reasons for the Proposed Closures

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The proposal to close these two schools is based on the lack of enrollment for the upcoming school years, indicating a requirement for these buildings to be discontinued as primary schools within their respective communities. The situation mirrors a broader trend across Aberdeenshire, with the council considering the closure of several schools with low student numbers. The idea is to merge these smaller establishments with larger schools to create more sustainable, well-resourced institutions.

Next Steps and Additional Measures

This consultation period, running from 5th February to 29th March, will allow stakeholders to voice their views and concerns. The council has promised to conduct a comprehensive review of educational benefits across the estate and detailed option appraisals for each school cluster, starting with the Banff, Turriff, and Westhill Clusters. These additional measures will help to ensure that the final decision is well-informed and considers all potential impacts and benefits.

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Community Involvement and Feedback

The Aberdeenshire council is seeking feedback from parents, students, and the wider community on the potential closures. This inclusive approach underlines the importance of community participation in decisions that will significantly impact the area's educational landscape. The council encourages all interested parties to participate in the consultation process, attend the public meetings, and make their voices heard.

As the consultation continues, the future of Easterfield and Fisherford primaries hangs in the balance. This decision, once made, will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the educational landscape of Aberdeenshire, making the ongoing public consultation a pivotal moment for the region's future.

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