Decision on Dales Park and Meethil Primary School closure: letter to Aberdeenshire Council

Decision letter to Aberdeenshire Council on 16 November 2021 regarding the closure of Dales Park and Meethil Primary School.

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Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010: Aberdeenshire Council - Dales Park and Meethil Primary School

I refer to your email of 27 September 2021 notifying Scottish Ministers of Aberdeenshire Council’s decision of 23 September 2021 to implement the proposal to discontinue education at the Dales Park Primary and Meethill Primary Schools, and replace them with a new school within the Peterhead Community Campus. Ministers have considered this proposal in line with the requirements set out in the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 (“the 2010 Act”). 

Under section 17 of the 2010 Act, Ministers may only issue a call-in notice if it appears to them that the education authority may have failed: 

(a) in a significant regard to comply with the requirements imposed on it by (or under) the 
Act so far as they are relevant in relation to the closure proposal, or 

(b) to take proper account of a material consideration relevant to its decision to implement 
the proposal. 

Section 15(2) of the 2010 Act requires an education authority to provide a copy of the proposal paper and the consultation report prepared under the Act to Ministers when notifying them of a closure proposal.

Section 15(4) of the 2010 Act requires Ministers to take into account any relevant representations made to them by any person during the 3 week period from the date that a closure decision is made. In relation to this closure proposal, the 3 week period began on 23 September 2021 and expired on 13 October 2021. One representation was received.

Having reviewed the documents provided by Aberdeenshire Council under section 15(2) and considered all relevant representations made under section 15(4), Ministers consider that Aberdeenshire Council has fulfilled its obligations under the 2010 Act and do not intend to issue a call-in notice for this proposal.

Aberdeenshire Council may now implement its decision to close Dales Park & Meethill Primary Schools in line with the timescales set out in its proposal paper. 

We also noted in Education Scotland’s report on the closure of Dales Park and Meethill Primary Schools that in taking forward the closure proposals, Aberdeenshire Council will need to continue to engage with all stakeholders to address their concerns. This includes addressing stakeholders’ legitimate concerns with regards to road safety and safe walking routes to the proposed new school. Should the proposal go ahead, Aberdeenshire Council should continue to consult and communicate effectively with staff, children and parents and the wider community in engaging them fully in the future planning and design stages of this proposal.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Drought
Deputy Director, Workforce and Infrastructure
Learning Directorate

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