Community projects are helping to boost school attendance across the north-east, according to the boss of a leading organisation.
Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT) puts on a range of activities in schools across the city and Aberdeenshire.
And the charity’s chairman Duncan Skinner claims it is having a significant impact on the wider education of pupils.
He revealed some pupils have gone from almost never attending school to having among the highest attendance rates as a result of participation in the trust’s programmes.
He said: “We have some really exciting things going on at the minute which are having a real impact on communities across the north-east.
“This is particularly the case in schools where we are seeing some great results.
“In a few areas, attendance rates have gone from around 40% to the 95% mark. And in one case, a pupil’s attendance has gone from zero to 90%.
“That’s off the back of the community trust’s activities which they have been taking part in and really shows the impact it can have.
“We want to build on that and make sure we are making a significant impact as a trust.”
The trust currently has education projects held at 21 schools across the north-east.
These range from Culter Primary School, Kintore Primary, Loirston Primary, Northfield Academy, Oldmachar Academy to Peterhead Academy.
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The role the organisation has played in getting pupils back in the classroom was praised by Laurence Findlay, Aberdeenshire Council’s director of education and children’s services.
He said: “We are delighted that our partnership work with Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust is resulting in increased attendance rates at Aberdeenshire schools.”
“We value the support of the trust, along with all the partners in innovative initiatives such as PeterDeen and FraserDeen, which demonstrates our commitment to developing all young people irrespective of their background.
“The trust also runs health and wellbeing projects in schools across Aberdeenshire.
“Their work plays a vital role in tackling attainment and ensuring all young people can succeed in life.”
An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “Our schools value working in partnership with AFC Community Trust.
“In some cases, schools have commissioned the Trust to support individual children and young people in order to improve levels of attendance.
“And there is evidence that the interventions provided by the Trust have complemented other interventions provided by the school designed to improve attendance.”