Schools of the future: Highland Council’s education projects explained

The most frequent targets of physical assaults in both council regions were education professionals.
The most frequent targets of physical assaults in both council regions were education professionals.

The Highland education committee has confirmed an eight-year programme of priority school projects, costing an estimated £194million.

In Inverness, it features a new primary for Ness Castle, redevelopment of the Merkinch campus including a new family centre, an extension and refurbishment of Smithton Primary and extra accommodation for Kinmylies Primary.

A new nursery annexe is planned for Milton Of Leys School along with additional classrooms at Charleston and Culloden academies.

A new school will house a relocated and potentially larger Gaelic school – with the existing building used as an English medium school – or additional English medium accommodation in adjacent schools.

A new school is proposed for the new development of Stratton on the east side of Inverness.

Hilton Primary will be extended and refurbished while a possible new secondary school would be built in the city – dependent on government funding.

Charleston Academy and Kinmylies Primary are included in a list for priority action by 2020-21.

And a school is needed for the new town of Tornagrain.

Outwith the city, improvements and/or extensions are required at Alness, Auchtertyre, Balnain, Banavie, Farr, Gairloch, Invergarry, Inverlochy, Keiss, Kilmuir, Kiltearn, Lochcarron, Millbank, Newtonmore, Rosebank, Scoraig, Tarradale primary schools – and secondary schools Fortrose Academy, Kingussie High, Nairn Academy and Thurso High.

The council’s head of resources, Brian Porter, said: “We’re looking at Inverness schools as a programme. It’s not a basket of individual projects, it has to be looked at holistically.”

Black Isle SNP councillor celebrated the inclusion of Fortrose Academy as a priority.

“We have windows falling out, the floor in the dining room collapsing, mould and asbestos,” he said.

“This has not happened overnight. We’ve let pupils, parents and teachers down by years of procrastination.”

Mr Porter promised to update councillors and parent councils on progress.