School saved after non-Catholics praise Catholic education
St Peter’s Primary School in Aberdeen has been saved from an unpopular move after a consultation found support for the school’s ethos from non-Catholics.
Aberdeen City Council conducted a consultation surrounding the future of the oversubscribed school and the construction of a new non-denominational school, with a new-build, shared campus on a different site one of the proposed options.
However, the consultation found parents opposed to the move, and planners have now recommended the school stay on its current site.
“Some people had expressed that whilst they were not Roman Catholic, they had chosen St Peter’s School as they believed the ethos of a Catholic education was holistic and inclusive and something they wished for their children to experience,” the report says. “It was also expressed that the council should be expanding and promoting the excellent model of St Peter’s School which is highly regarded by the pupils and families.”
In comments to the consultation, Aberdeen Diocese said that while the Church ‘had been wary of the idea of a shared campus model since its inception,’ it ‘may need to take a more positive eye to this idea and how it could be developed in Aberdeen.’
The council will now go ahead with building a new non-denominational school and will ‘carry out an options appraisal to determine the long term future of education provision at the existing St Peter’s School site and the possibility of building a new St Peter’s School on a new location, subject to a suitable site being identified in the school zone and sufficient capital funding becoming available.’
St Peter’s parent council said they were aware that rejecting the council’s proposals ‘could mean a delay in getting a new school and that the pupils and staff would be therefore required to remain in their present premises in the interim period,’ but that they were willing to accept this ‘in return for an interim solution to the current overcrowding and identifying the acceptable alternative options in the future.’
This story ran in full in the February 17 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.