NORTH EAST WEEKLY 12TH APRIL 2018 www.northeastweekly.com Est. 1997 Issue 1055 Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to close Longhaven School after Easter break comes as a result of the Council running out of money after spending hundreds of millions on new schools in the south of the Shire. There are currently 17 Academies and 150 Primary Schools serving Aberdeenshire. Thus, if there is deficit in funding, the obvious solution would be to close some of the smaller Primary Schools. In the case of Longhaven with a roll of 10-12 pupils it would seem logical to close the school and hire a minibus to take the pupils to and from Port Erroll school two miles away. The Cruden Bay primary is a new school with a capacity of 200 and a current roll of 130. The Longhaven pupils would easily be accommodated in Port Erroll without any additional expense accept for the cost of the minibus which is marginal given the huge annual school transport costs of the Council. In the meantime, there would be considerable annual. savings on staff, administration, heating, lighting, etc to be ploughed back into the education system. If this was taking place at Longhaven and the Council had explained the closure of the school in such a manner, most would have supported the move to Port Erroll. However, the real reason is far more disturbing. Eighteen months ago Aberdeenshire Council re-opened a so called ‘mothballed’ school at Strachan for 2 pupils from one family. At the Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, Councillors were told that the Council could not over ride parental wishes on where to place their children. Despite the school having been closed, the Council had to find the money for a teacher, a part-time head and all the running costs even if only one or two pupils wished to attend the school. Thus, the primary school had to be re-opened for two pupils. Longhaven School is currently in operation with a roll five times larger than Strachan, yet Strachan was re-opened while Longhaven is closed. Pupils and parents in the North of Aberdeenshire are entitled to the same treatment as those in the South. Unfortunately, as seen with the Academy to sports facilities to roads, those resident in the south of the Shire are far more favoured by the Council.