Pupils in Tain have produced a hard-hitting video exposing the “disgraceful, inappropriate, crumbling condition” of their schools – and calling for a new campus to be built now.
The students describe the current facilities at all the schools in the town as “not fit-for-purpose” in the emotive film, which has been posted online and sent to Highland Councillors, MSPs, MPs and the Scottish Government.
The video highlights cracked ceilings and walls, damp and mould, broken windows, holes, stained carpets, poor electrics and exposed cables.
The movie has been given community backing, including from parents and local councillors.
The pupils are desperate for the proposed £45million 3-18 Tain Campus to be built as soon as possible, but a delay on deciding a site selection has pushed the project back on the priority list.
Tain 3-18 will replace Tain Royal Academy (TRA), Craighill Primary, Knockbreck Primary and St Duthus Special School.
The video was produced by members of the Tain Youth Forum with involvement by pupils at TRA, Knockbreck and Craighill.
They state: “It is obvious the current schools in Tain are inadequate and not fit for purpose. This has a result on our learning and ability to thrive.”
Local councillor Alasdair Rhind said: “This initiative by the young people of Tain highlights the problems of existing facilities, which are in a deplorable state.
“Why should our children be educated in such poor buildings? Hopefully those who see this will be supportive in allocating funding for the new 3-18 Campus.”
He hopes that once a site is finally given the go-ahead then funding will be sought from the Scottish Government, who announced £1billion of extra cash was to be made available to councils for new schools in November.
A Highland Council spokeswoman said: “A new Tain 3-18 Campus was identified by the council in March 2018 as one of 11 priorities identified for bidding to Scottish Government for school building improvement funding.
“Since that time the council has commenced a statutory consultation for the establishment of a new campus, considering site options, and engaging with the local community through that process.
“The council is discussing its priorities with Scottish Government, and is looking forward to further details on the further £1bn of school improvement funding announced in November.
“Timescales for concluding the statutory consultation process, and next steps, will be clarified in parallel with further information in relation to government funding.”
Councillor John Finlayson, chairman of care, learning and housing committee, said: “Highland does however have a significant number of schools (204), and a range of matters to be addressed in relation to condition, suitability and capacity improvements across the estate.
“For that reason we are looking to work with Scottish Government to consider what further investment can be available to support investment in the Highland school estate.”