Council officials are to hold urgent talks with parents of pupils at a Ross-shire primary school after it was ravaged by fire at the weekend.
A joint investigation is under way by police and firefighters to establish the cause of the blaze which took hold at Park Primary School in Invergordon on Saturday.
Forty firefighters from across the Highlands battled to save 80% of the Victorian school building as flames were seen bellowing from the roof.
Highland council officials are now preparing to hold a virtual meeting with “traumatised” families to help them navigate through the crisis.
The meeting, being held on Monday night, comes just weeks before the school was expected to reopen to students.
It marks almost exactly one year on from the closure of the Highland campus after a devastating fire ripped through the school.
Chairman of the education committee, councillor John Finlayson, said the reopening plans are now on hold pending the results of the site investigations.
He said: “It’s absolutely devastating for everyone. I’m sure it brings back some very bad memories from a year ago. It was certainly the last thing we were expecting this weekend.
“At this moment in time everything is on hold and under review until we find out the results of any investigations.
“There is support in place and parents and young people will be communicated with. There will be meetings with parents and staff to decide a way forward.”
Invergordon councillor Maxine Morley-Smith and head teacher Karen Cox will be among the attendees at the meeting.
Update at 3.10pm:Council officials and councillors have met to discuss the many issues. Site still being dampened…
The local councillor confirmed the “education department will communicate fully with all parents” to keep them updated with ongoing developments as they work to support families affected by the blaze.
She said: “It will be some time before the cause can be ascertained but it’s being worked on. Meantime let’s not make it up.
“There’ll be a virtual meeting Monday evening for Park families.
“Our thoughts are with them and the authorities are putting everything into place for counselling those families that are traumatised and a family liaison council officer will be appointed in the next few days to assist with concerns.”
She added: “The head teacher Karen Cox has been in attendance along with parent council chair, Mark Lancaster and myself.
“All four local councillors, Carolyn Wilson, Mike Finlayson, Pauline Munro and myself are working together to ease families through this situation and find suitable outcomes in the short and long term for the children’s schooling.
“This will be in full consultation with the community of Invergordon.”
A total of 11 fire appliances were called to the two-storey building on Albany Road around 7am including a high-reach and command support units.
Police Scotland closed the road, along with Joss Street and Cromlet Drive, while crews tackled the blaze.
Firefighters handed the property over to the council around 3.30pm on Saturday as the last of the hot spots were being dampened down.
Fencing now remains in place around the school with individuals being urged to stay away from the property as investigations commence.
Pupils from Park Primary have been attending Invergordon Academy since a fire ripped through the school last February.
Mr Finlayson, thanked everyone for their quick response in these trying times.
He said: “I would like to thank the quick response of the emergency services, education staff, Highland council staff and local members. It’s certainly been a team effort to try and move things forward.”