Aberdeen Grammar most in-demand school in Scotland

Aberdeen Grammar School

ABERDEEN Grammar School has more applicants from out-of-catchment pupils than any other council-run school in Scotland.

The new data, revealed by The Scotsman, shows the city centre school received 335 placing requests from families not in catchment for the 2022/23 school year.

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That’s over 60% more applications than Glasgow’s most in-demand council school, Notre Dame High School (207).

One of the oldest schools in the country, Aberdeen Grammar ranked 25th for the number of pupils that achieved five or more higher passes in 2021/22 (59%), and second in Aberdeen, behind only Cults Academy.

Aberdeen Grammar wasn’t the only city centre school to see out-of-catchment applications increase.

The council received 2,622 applicants last year, nearly 2,000 more than received during 2018/19.

More than 10% of total applicants are believed to have come from Ukrainian families displaced due to the Russian invasion in February last year.

An increase in Nigerian students studying in Aberdeen is also said to have increased applications, with many bringing their families over.

One option, tabled by Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart, is rezoning catchment areas of schools in the city.

“It is not surprising that school placing requests have increased in Aberdeen given that the school age population has grown because of young people coming from Ukraine and other countries to seek refuge in our city.”

He added: “In my opinion the council should also look at whether a school catchment area rezoning exercise is required given the demographic changes that have taken place in some areas of our city.”

North-east MSP Liam Kerr, education spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “There is a stark increase in parents in Aberdeen who, for one reason or another, don’t want their kids to go to the local school.

“Parents know best about what’s right for their children, and it’s up to the Scottish Government to live up to these expectations.

“More work is required to know for sure what the driving force behind this increase is.

“But there’s absolutely no doubt that parents across Scotland are concerned about declining education standards, a worsening picture when it comes to classroom violence.”

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