Marr area to review primary school zones

editorial image
  • Consultation process begins for two Banchory primary schools
  • Catchment areas must be changed due to plans for new homes
  • Proposals will not affect existing pupils

The Marr area committee have begun the formal consultation process for Banchory Primary and Hill of Banchory Primary zones.

The Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 requires that local authorities undertake a formal consultation process whenever changes are proposed to the location or catchment area of a school.

The biggest concern was from parents with children at Banchory Primary worried about the increased use of that school.

Cllr Karen Clark

A masterplan was approved at Marr Area Committee on March 10 for the Hill of Banchory, sites M2 and H2 in the Local Development Plan.

The houses in M2 would currently be zoned for Hill of Banchory School.

The current capacity at the school, after the reconfiguration of the IT suite and Music room, is 387 pupils.

The capacity of Banchory Primary is 550 pupils.

The education service set out very clearly at Marr Area Committee why the primary school catchment areas had to be changed owing to the new houses planned at Lochside of Leys and those north of the Hill of Banchory. Reassurances were given that the proposals will only affect new pupils in the network and current pupils and their siblings will continue to attend their existing school.

Cllr Karen Clark said: “Last month ( March 18) I did attend a public meeting held in the evening for parents to discuss the consultation and the implications of the rezoning. The biggest concern was from parents with children at Banchory Primary worried about the increased use of that school and whether there was room for additional pupils. Their worries are understandable but the education service and head teacher assured parents that there was plenty of capacity to cope with the extra pupils and, indeed, the numbers would be staggered over a few years.

‘‘I have raised the issue with the council about ensuring a safe route for youngsters to Banchory Primary School from the new development and they are looking at how to address this. The current road network around Hill of Banchory West, and particularly at the junction with Raemoir Road, is increasingly busy and congested and not safe for pedestrians so if we want to encourage walking and cycling this has to be addressed urgently. I would urge parents to take part in the consultation which ends on April 30.”