Alford's Towie School over capacity

There are more than a hundred overcrowded schools across Scotland, including a few in Aberdeenshire.

By Aimee Stanton, Data Reporter
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 8:31 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 9:41 am
Towie School has five pupils over capacity
Towie School has five pupils over capacity

Latest figures from the Scottish Government shows that five per cent of Scotland’s 2,354 primary and secondary schools are over capacity.

While some of these 128 schools are oversubscribed by just one or two pupils, some schools have hundreds of extra pupils on their registers.

Towie Primary School in Alford has capacity for 50 pupils, but the pupil roll in September 2020 showed 55 pupild attending the school.

The data is based on the latest government School Estate data published in September 2021 and represents pupils on the school roll from the previous September.

Anne-Marie Davies-Macleod, Head of Resources and Performance for Aberdeenshire Council explained: "While a number of our schools may appear to be over capacity on paper, in practice plenty of space is available to all our learners.

“The calculation of capacities for secondary schools is complex. It’s based on an aim for 80% occupancy in Aberdeenshire, so there are always extra teaching spaces available, but we also base it on ensuring we can deliver an effective mix of practical (20 pupil maximum class size) and non-practical (30 max) subjects.

"The stated capacities are what we call ‘published’ capacities which only account for main school buildings, where as our ‘working’ capacities include non-linked units.

"Practical teaching areas like technical often require fixed equipment so it can sometimes be that the overall capacity of a school is limited until we reconfigure spaces.

"This is where ‘planning’ capacity comes in.”

She continued: "From year to year and where there are pinch points in our secondaries, our learning estates team works closely with schools to ensure they have ample space to deliver the right mix of subjects on behalf of their learners.

"We set annual secondary limits and reserved spaces and will not accept placing requests from those out of area when we need to limit numbers.

“Right now, none of our secondary schools are over working capacity and where we are expecting school rolls to increase we are also planning ahead.