8. Education

State schools in Aberdeen are owned and operated by Aberdeen City Council which acts as the Education Authority. A detailed document on educational arrangements and schools in the CBM area is available as appendix 2

Primary Schools. There are two primary schools in the CBM area:

  • Cults Primary which has approximately 540 children in P1-7. The nursery runs four sessions, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. Each session has places for 20 children.
  • Milltimber Primary which has approximately 222 pupils in P1-7 plus 40 children in the Nursery.

Secondary School – Cults Academy

Cults Academy is the largest state school in Aberdeen. Founded in 1967, it was the recipient of The Sunday Times Scottish State Secondary School of the Year Award 2008 due to its outstanding exam results.

The current capacity of Cults Academy is 1141. Aberdeen City Council predicts that the school roll will rise to 1313 by 2019.

Cults, Milltimber and Peterculter Primary schools are all included in the Cults Academy catchment zone. Pupils attending Lairhillock School, and those children resident in the Lairhillock School zone but attending other primary schools, who are currently zoned to Cults Academy, remain entitled to attend Cults Academy.

Private schools

There are 4 private schools in Aberdeen admitting secondary age pupils, some of which also have junior schools and nursery care.

  • Robert Gordon’s College (co-educational)
  • St Margaret’s School for Girls
  • Albyn School (co-educational)
  • International School of Aberdeen (co-educational)

Special Needs

Camphill School, part of the Camphill Community, provides education for pupils with learning disabilities and other support needs.

Further and higher education:

Vocational education in Aberdeen is provided by North East Scotland College and through apprenticeships.

All Scottish universities, including both Aberdeen University and the city’s Robert Gordon University, are public universities and funded by the Scottish Government.

 Adult Education.

In 2011 the organisation and management of community adult learning programmes were transferred from the city council to local communities. In our area this led to the formation of the Lower Deeside Community Association(LDCA) for CBM and Peterculter. Due to a number of external circumstances, the LDCA failed to establish itself as a  going concern and although city officers helped out for some time, the current position is that there are no community led adult courses and recreational activities in our area.

Fortunately local clubs and churches are very active in the recreational field as demonstrated by the long list of activities published in the ‘What’s on’ section of the MBC News. Also a number of private educators offer courses in the Cults Learning Centre in the community wing of the Academy.

For residents willing and able to travel, there are several community led learning centres in neighbouring areas, e.g. in the Inchgarth Community Centre and the Kaimhill Learning Centre in Garthdee.  Robert Gordon University in Garthdee also has part-time, day-time and evening classes suitable for adults, eg Art classes at Gray’s.

Further afield there are suitable classes in Aberdeen College and Aberdeen University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning offers classes in eg Archaeology, Scottish Cultural Studies etc.

Day Courses are sometimes held in the Central Library.

 

Current Key Issues

School capacity. There is a concern over the availability of places at Cults Academy for pupils currently living in the catchment area and those moving into the area to live in one of the many new houses being built in Cults, Bieldside, Milltimber and Peterculter. A new primary school is due to be built in Milltimber to accommodate the increase in numbers expected with the housing development at Oldfold. As part of the Countesswells development a Primary school is due to be built after 500 homes have been sold, which could be in 2019, and a secondary school after 1,000 homes sold. The CC is actively discussing and monitoring these developments.

 

The Community Council has been informed of the following issues but has not actively debated them:

  • Knife crime. Youngsters in Aberdeen are being urged to sign a pledge, whereby they will not carry weapons and report anybody they see doing so. The ‘Life not Knife’ campaign has been launched by Aberdeen City Council following the death of a pupil at Cults Academy in October 2015.
  • Governance Review. The Scottish Government launched aGovernance Review of early years and schools’ education in 2016. Views are currently being sought across Scotland on how education is run: who should take decisions in relation to the education of children and young people and how the funding of education can be made fairer.
  • Staffing shortage. There are concerns that schools in Aberdeen may close because of a “crisis” in recruiting teachers. In June 2016 Aberdeen City Council stated there were 134 empty teaching posts in the city. Retention and recruitment of teachers throughout the city remains challenging. This a particular issue for CBM area due to the lack of affordable housing in the are

 

Adult learning and recreation in the area is totally relying on private initiative. Residents who do not find anything to their liking locally, look elsewhere in the City or neighbouring Shire and are willing to travel. This situation is to the disadvantage of residents who are less mobile, due to age, mental problems or family circumstances who may experience loneliness. Although churches and the Cults Over-50 club do splendid work in the area, there could be a case for the introduction of targeted community led activities.

 

Community Council Objectives

To ensure that the views of the community are fully taken into account in all education and issues in relation to school and further education provision in the local community.

To work with our elected local councillors to ensure that school places are available for children who live in the area and that realistic planning of school capacity is performed.

To ensure that the locally available adult learning and recreational activities target vulnerable residents,

 

Consultation

The CC is not able to deal with individual complaints, but will always consider investigating any general issues that may arise.

  1. Views are invited on any relevant educational matter.
  2. Suggestions are welcome as to how the CC can ensure it is aware of local needs.