Thomson backs Tullynessle School parents at Woodhill House protest

Richard Thomson speaking with parents outside Woodhill House at the protest.

SNP candidate for Gordon and Buchan Richard Thomson met with parents of pupils attending Tullynessle School and Nursery yesterday (Monday).

Mr Thomson had been invited to drop by a protest being staged by the parents against the mothballing of their school outside Aberdeenshire Council Headquarters at Woodhill House, Aberdeen.

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Several Aberdeenshire SNP councillors also attended and spoke with the parents.   

Commenting, Richard Thomson, SNP candidate for Gordon and Buchan, said:

“Rural schools are very often the beating heart of the community they serve and the SNP Scottish Government put in place measures to stop the closure of small rural schools on anything other than educational grounds over a decade ago.

“Aberdeenshire Council have found a way round this by ‘mothballing’ schools, which does not require to meet the same threshold as a formal closure because it isn’t technically a closure.  However, everyone knows that once a small school is closed for any length of time, the chances of it opening again are slim. 

“The fact that Tullynessle also has a thriving nursery attached to it makes this doubly important for the community and the impact it will have on working parents in particular.

“I would urge Aberdeenshire Council to review this mothballing policy urgently and to also do the right thing by the community in Tullynessle and re-open their school and nursery.”

SNP councillor for Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford Gwyneth Petrie added:

“The SNP council group has long argued that these decisions need democratic oversight, but instead we see administration Tory and Lib Dem councillors hiding behind officer decision-making.

“There has to be a change of policy in respect of mothballing of schools, but we also need a process in place around the closure of nurseries, which we as elected members are also getting no say on, despite the significant impact that such decisions can have on the communities we represent.”

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