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Parents offered class photo with no 'complex needs' pupils

A council has apologised after parents were offered a choice of class photos with or without children with complex needs in them.

Parents at Aboyne Primary complained after being sent a link from a photography company offering them alternative pictures.

Aberdeenshire Council said the decision was not taken by the school and the link to the photos was immediately removed.

Tempest Photography told BBC Scotland News it was investigating the matter and had spoken to both the photographer involved and the school. The company added it had no further comment at this stage.

Aboyne Primary
Parents at Aboyne Primary complained about what happened [BBC]

It is understand some class photographs were taken before the pupils with additional support needs were brought in.

Despite pictures then being taken which included all the pupils, parents were still given the option of both.

Tempest is one of the biggest school photography firms.

One of Natalie Pinnell's daughters, who has additional support needs, attends the school.

"I was unsure why two options were given," she said of her daughter's photos.

"To say I was shocked is a massive understatement.

"I can't understand how a human can think it's ok to effectively give people the choice to erase children from their class and their history."

She added: "The school were amazing, they were absolutely appalled."

'Totally unacceptable'

Aberdeenshire Council said in a statement: "We are aware that following Aboyne Primary School’s recent school class photographs, links to purchase the pictures included images with and without complex needs provision pupils.

“Whilst this was not a decision taken by the school, we absolutely appreciate the distress and hurt this has caused some parents and carers and we are sincerely sorry.

"The issue has been taken up with the photography company directly as this is totally unacceptable."

The council added: "Aboyne is an inclusive school and every single child should be included, engaged and involved in their learning and school experiences."