School to reopen for just two pupils today after successful fight against the closure by parents

November 9, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

A rural Scots school was reopened to just two pupils today (Mon) after parents won their battle against its closure.

(L to R) Jennifer Neish with her son Rory and Iain Gillies with his son Aaron (SWNS Group)

(L to R) Jennifer Neish with her son Rory and Iain Gillies with his son Aaron (SWNS Group)

Strachan School, near Banchory in Aberdeenshire, was mothballed due to having a low school roll during the summer.

According to campaigners the school roll only dropped to two after the local authority announced it was going to make it a “one classroom, one teacher” primary.

Following their decision 17 families moved their children to other schools in the area.

Just last month Aberdeenshire Council was insisting the school would only reopen if there was sufficient demand in the area.

Strachan School in Aberdeenshire (SWNS Group)

Strachan School in Aberdeenshire (SWNS Group)

However, after a hard-fought campaign by parents, that decision was reversed last month after a “strange” change of heart by Aberdeenshire Council.

Dad Iain Gillies led the campaign to have the school reopened, along with fellow parents Andrew and Jennifer Neish.

Their children were the last to use the school and have been fighting its closure since July.

Iain, 49, of Strachan, said: “The school roll went down a bit. The council had to make the move because it was difficult for them to maintain the school.

“A lot of the parents pulled their children out and moved them elsewhere.

“We had a meeting with the council about a month ago and we were told that if we wanted the school to open again, it would, so obviously we said yes.

“It’s strange that the council had a change of heart.”
SWNS_SCHOOL_REOPENED_05Iain’s son Aaron, nine, has been attending Banchory Primary School since the summer along with Mr and Mrs Neish’s son, Rory, also nine.

Both boys were able to return to their local school yesterday.

Iain said he was just happy for his local community.

He added: “It’s great for the community to reopen the school.

“We know that there are a lot of people interested in having their children going back to the school.

“My boy is quite happy to be back.”

Karen Clark, Councillor for Banchory and Mid-Deeside, said the council had “done the right thing”.

She said: “The education service I think feel it is not the best arrangement but I think, for the community, this is an opportunity for them to ideally commit to keeping the school viable and trying to go forward with a good plan for everybody.”

Category: News

Add your comment

Libellous and abusive comments are not allowed. Please read our House Rules

For information about privacy and cookies please read our Privacy Policy