Furious parents have demanded that education chiefs take urgent action to fix “appalling” disrepair at one of the top performing schools in the Highlands.
Fortrose Academy’s parent council has written to the local authority claiming the “terrible condition” of some of the school’s buildings could be harming the health of pupils and staff.
They said more than one block at the Black Isle school has “crumbling plaster and brickwork, persistent damp and black mould”, while the showers “are in the worst condition I have ever seen in a public building”.
It was also alleged that the supply of gas to the chemistry labs on the top floor of block B was switched off permanently because of “safety concerns”.
The letter said: “Having seen for myself the terrible conditions, I believe they raise health and safety issues for both pupils and staff, especially those with weakened immune systems, asthma and other respiratory problems.”
It added: “I do not believe any office worker would tolerate working in an environment like this and I think it is grossly unfair to the teachers and children who are expected to do so.
“The school is working hard to encourage all pupils to take pride in their new school uniform and to respect the building and its facilities. This is made almost impossible due to the condition of the school itself.”
Local MSP Kate Forbes said she had also written to Highland Council to raise the matter.
“There has been great progress in rebuilding and refurbishing school buildings across the Highlands over the last ten years, but there are still some buildings which are not fit for our children’s education,” she said.
“This includes Fortrose Academy, and the photographs I have seen of the building are deeply concerning.
“More than anything else, I am concerned by the impact on the pupils’ education.”
A £5.4million extension was opened at Fortrose Academy in 2002, but some of the blocks have changed little since they were built in the 1960s.
The refurbishment and replacement of the older blocks was listed by the council among its “highest priority” projects last year.
A local authority spokeswoman said: “The council has prepared a business case seeking additional capital funding for Fortrose, and it is expected this will be considered by the council later this year.
“In the interim, the council is undertaking further review of kitchen and dining facilities to consider any further priority actions required, and has offered to meet again with the parent council to discuss the review.”