Construction work begins on multi-million pound school for children with complex additional needs

A turf-cutting ceremony to mark the start of construction work on a £17million school for children with additional support needs arising from severe and complex factors in Aberdeen, has been held today (Tue 08 Dec 2015).

Aberdeen City Council staff in partnership with hub North Scotland and JM Architects worked to get the school plans to this stage with Ogilvie Construction appointed to build the school.

Aberdeen City Council's Convener of Education and Children's Services Committee Councillor Angela Taylor led the turf cutting ceremony along with Angus Macfarlane, chief executive of hub North Scotland. Pupils from Woodlands School and Hazelwood School also attended the event.

The first of its kind in Aberdeen - the Centre of Excellence - will be more than a complex needs school, it will be a hub for best practice in supporting learners with Additional Support Needs (ASN). It will be a:

  • hub for outreach services such as speech and language;
  • new resource centre for ASN – teaching and training facilities;
  • community hub for families for ASN parents/groups and charities to access;
  • multi-agency facility for health, education, social work and family support.


A special ASN playground and garden for the whole ASN community to access and host events is also planned.

The new school, located on Howes Road, will provide education and support for up to 150 full-time children and young people from 3 to 18 years of age with severe and complex educational and medical needs, and will replace Woodlands School and Hazelwood School. A pre-school additional support service, currently provided in Seaton School, will also be relocated to the new campus.

Aberdeen City Council's Convener of Education and Children's Committee Angela Taylor said: "This is such an exciting opportunity to provide the very best for our learners with additional support needs here in the city.

"It is wonderful day for the staff, children and parents of Woodlands School and Hazelwood School communities and I am thrilled that some of them were here to witness the official sod cutting.

"The Centre of Excellence is another example of this Council's determination to build the finest school accommodation to allow all of our young people unlock their potential.

"It also highlights our continuing commitment to work in partnership with other agencies such as NHS Grampian to deliver a holistic service, which fully meets the needs of children with complex additional support needs.

"We will continue to work with the young people, their parents and staff in the months ahead to ensure a smooth transition to the new school."

Angus Macfarlane, chief executive of hub North Scotland
"Today's event signals the start of construction as we create a first class facility that will enhance the care and education provision for children with additional support needs here in Aberdeen. Hub North Scotland is committed to delivering projects that its key stakeholders will benefit from for generations to come and we look forward to eventually handing over a school to Aberdeen City Council that it, along with the children and young people the facility will serve, are proud of."
Angus Macfarlane, chief executive of hub North Scotland

Work on the new Centre of Excellence is due to be completed by April 2017.