A photography company has been forced to apologise after offering versions of class photos which had pupils with additional support needs removed.

Photos taken of the P5 class at Aboyne Primary, Aberdeenshire, were taken by local photographers employed by Cornwall-based Tempest Photography.

As reported by the Press & Journal, parent Natalie Pinnell discovered that two photographs were taken - one including her daughter Erin and one without.

Ms Pinnell told the Press & Journal: "I’m absolutely heartbroken.

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"I put a post up on Facebook and it’s gone crazy with support from other parents, who thankfully are equally as outraged.

“A lot of the other parents have decided not to purchase their school photos in support. That means a lot.

“To give people the option to erase my daughter from history for the sake of optics is frankly inhumane. One of the cruellest things that I’ve ever experienced.

“Me and the other parents just feel devastated beyond belief.

“It’s actually like a physical pain, having your child removed like that.

“Thankfully Erin isn’t aware of it, and neither are the other pupils who were removed.”

The link has now been removed and Tempest said it was investigating.

The decision was not taken by Aboyne Primary and the school will not use the photography company again.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “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.

“While 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.

“Aboyne is an inclusive school and every single child should be included, engaged, and involved in their learning and school experiences.”

Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Liam Kerr said: “This is a horrific error of judgement.

"There are big questions for the company arranging and taking these photos.

"This is one of the bigger studios working with Scottish schools today, so it’s imperative to find whether this is an isolated incident and ensure it never happens again."