09 December 2021

Committee agrees plans for consultation on closure of Gartly School

Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee approved a statutory consultation on the proposal to close Gartly School to commence.

The Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 requires local authorities to undertake a formal consultation process whenever changes are proposed to the school estate, including the proposed closure of a school.

The statutory consultation must run for at least 30 days during term time. The consultation exercise will ensure any concerns or questions regarding the proposal can be addressed. The consultation regarding the closure of Gartly School will take place from Tuesday, December 7, to until Thursday, February 24.

A public meeting will be held at 6:30pm on Tuesday, January 25, at Gartly Community Hall (Tin Hut), Old Military Road (A97), Huntly, AB54 4PX.  An online meeting will also take place from 11am on Wednesday, January 26. You can join the online meeting via this link: https://tinyurl.com/GartlySchool-PublicMeeting

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “I would encourage the local community to let us know what they think by completing the consultation process. We want to find a solution that best meets the wishes of the local community from the options currently available. At the heart of any decision to propose a closure of a school is the educational welfare of the children concerned. With your support we can collectively work together on meeting their needs.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “I would like to thank the local community for their patience and understanding throughout this journey. I would also like to commend our council officers for the time they have spent working on suitable options to find a solution that best meets everyone’s needs. I do hope parents, carers and residents take the time to have their say in the consultation, so the needs of the children concerned are best met.”

The consultation document will be presented to members of the Marr Area Committee on Tuesday, December 14. A report outlining responses to the statutory consultation will be considered by the Education and Children’s Services Committee at its meeting in August 2022.

At the meeting of the Education and Children’s Services Committee on Thursday, August 26, it was agreed to formalise the current arrangement that Rhynie School would permanently accommodate pupils in the Gartly catchment area.

Gartly School has not been open since an oil leak in December 2018. Remediation work has already been undertaken to address the contamination costing £451,500. An indicative cost for the re-instatement of the original building would be just over £1million. The school was mothballed in August and pupils originally attended Kennethmont School whilst children at nursery went to Rhynie Nursery. The pupils have since moved to Rhynie School.

To read the report in full please visit https://committees.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/committees.aspx?commid=494&meetid=19869

You can also watch a webcast of the Education and Children’s Services Committee by visiting https://aberdeenshire.public-i.tv/core/portal/home