Councillors have been urged to approve a design for the expansion of an Aberdeen secondary school.
Aberdeen City Council plans to extend Bucksburn Academy to accommodate a predicted rise in the number of pupils over the next four years.
Last year, the project was rubber-stamped by a meeting of the full council, and proposed designs will now go before the local authority’s education operational delivery committee for approval.
The extension would provide capacity for around 300 extra pupils at Bucksburn, which opened in 2009, with the school roll expected to grow in the coming years due to the construction of 1,700 new homes in the catchment area.
The number of additional places needed ranges from 111 to 259 in 2025, depending on whether the new academy at Countesswells is completed as planned in 2023 or is delayed.
However, the council says there is likely to be “significant further demand” for places at Bucksburn after 2025 regardless, and as such an expansion would be necessary.
Documents made public ahead of the meeting read: “Whilst our school roll forecasts indicate a required capacity increase at the school of up to 259 pupil places between now and 2025, based on current pupil per household rates used for the Bucksburn area, the 3,400 homes which are expected to be constructed in the Bucksburn catchment area post-2025 could potentially generate a further 340 pupils at the school, giving an overall increase of 599 pupils in the long term.
“This means that further action is likely to be required to be taken at a later date, to ensure there is sufficient capacity at the school.
“Pupil roll forecast figures can only be approximate, and the above numbers of additional required places are the best estimates based on the data available.
“It would be prudent to ensure that there are sufficient unused places available at the school to cope with future unanticipated fluctuations in demand, rather than having the school 100% full as soon as the extension is completed.
“It is therefore proposed that a new extension to the school providing 300 additional places, is delivered.
“This would ensure that sufficient space is available at the school to accommodate the new housing developments, and would allow for any delays in rezoning Kingswells School to the new secondary school at Countesswells.”
Meanwhile, councillors will also be asked to officially approve the rollout of expanded early learning and childcare (ELC) hours from August.
All local authorities in Scotland will be required to offer 1,140 hours of funded care to all three and four-year-olds, and some two-year-olds, from the start of the next school year.
The rollout had been due to take place in August 2020 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both issues will be discussed by councillors on the education operational delivery committee on Wednesday January 20.