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Mothballed school closure at Longhaven moves a step closer

By Kirstie Topp - Local Democracy Reporter

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The mothballed Longhaven School is a step closer to being closed for good despite concerns doing so would rip out “the heart of the community”.

Longhaven School
Longhaven School

The fate of the Buchan school has been hanging in the balance for a number of years.

The school was initially closed in 2018 following unsuccessful attempts to find a new head teacher and its doors have remained shut ever since.

Due to the closure parents were forced to move their children to other schools in the area.

As no applications had been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council for new primary one pupils at Longhaven the school never reopened.

A statutory consultation into the permanent closure of Longhaven School was launched in December last year and parents were encouraged to have their say on the plans.

The consultation closed in February and councillors of the Buchan area committee were asked to comment on the resulting report earlier this week.

The report considered by councillors included feedback by members of the public.

One comment in support of the closure said Longhaven children had settled at other schools and moving pupils back to a smaller facility would be “detrimental”.

Another said it was “not viable” to run and staff a small school when others are nearby.

However there was also some support for keeping Longhaven School open.

One resident said: “The school is the heart of the community and this would be ripped out if the school was to close”.

Council officers have recommended that the school be permanently closed and the existing catchment area be reassigned to include Boddam and Port Erroll schools.

At the committee meeting councillor Stephen Smith asked if the potential rezone could also include Longside School as some parents had already been sending their children there.

The consultation report and councillor comments will be considered by the Education and Children’s Services committee (ECS) in June.

Any further comments made at the ECS meeting will then be discussed by Full Council at a future date where the final decision on the school’s future will be made.

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