18 March 2021

Committee learns about progress with modernising Aberdeenshire's schools

Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee learnt about the role the Learning Estates Team has played in modernising schools across Aberdeenshire.

Case studies featuring a number of state-of-the-art upgrades including the £55million Inverurie Community Campus, extensions to primary schools including Premnay and Stuartfield as well as the construction of new school buildings such as Kinellar Primary and Gordon Nursery were included in the Learning Estates Strategy, which was considered by the committee on Thursday, March 18.

Inverurie Community Campus saw Inverurie Academy and St Andrew’s School become based in the modern facility which boasts space to accommodate 1,680 pupils, a six-lane swimming pool, with a training pool, hydrotherapy and warm water pools providing support to pupils and the community, state-of-the-art sports facilities such as a climbing wall, dance and fitness studios and learning plazas with enhanced technology and flexible furniture.

The new Kinellar Primary School building was built over two floors allowing for separate space for PE and dining, and a kitchen for meals to be prepared on site, as well as for all classes to be taught in the same building. There is also a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) which is used by the school and community.

Extensions to Premnay and Stuartfield Schools have seen an increase in space at both primaries. The extension to Premnay Primary has increased the school’s capacity to 75 pupils. Stuartfield Primary now has a large space for up to 50 pupils and a smaller area which can be used when necessary. The toilet blocks were renovated, and temporary accommodation removed.

The team’s role in reviewing the childcare hubs during the Coronavirus pandemic to ensure the capabilities of each hub following a rise in applications was also mentioned in the report. The hubs played a vital role in ensuring children of key workers and vulnerable children and young people continued to receive access to education and childcare during the lockdown in March 2020.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Director of Education and Children’s Services, Laurence Findlay, said: “It is really pleasing to hear about the progress being made with modernising our learning estate. It is nice to note too that many of the upgrades to our nurseries are playing a big part with the council being on track to meet the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering1140 hours of fully funded early learning and childcare target by August 2021.”

Anne-Marie Davies MacLeod, Aberdeenshire Council’s Interim Head of Resources and Performance, added: “I was glad to note reference to the Learning Estates team’s role in the success of the childcare hubs. They were vital in supporting the set-up and delivery of the hubs established to support key workers and vulnerable children and young people during a key period in the response to the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s great to see such teamwork within and across the service during such a challenging time when change was constant.”

The report is available in full by visiting: Aberdeenshire Council's Committees and Meetings webpage.

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