An island school will welcome its first children in three years after a newly arrived family called a halt to being taught by video lessons from a neighbouring isle.
The hi-tech experiment on the island of Canna, hailed as a potential model for education in remote areas, started a month ago.
Under the old trial scheme Denise Guthrie was paid to watch over her three children as they were home taught by video link by a teacher on the isle of Rum, 16 miles away.
But father Gordon found that the kids were getting in the way while he tried to work from the same home.
So now a teacher is being sent from the mainland to teach the Guthrie’s three school age children and the mothballed school will reopen on May 26.
When the Guthrie family arrived on Canna, which is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, they not only increased its population by nearly 50%, from 13 to 19, but brought with them the isle’s only school children.
The family-of-six’s arrival sparked a revolution in how their children are taught – with the school day coming over the web from teacher Stuart Poole on Rum, who also teaches Rum’s two schoolchildren.
The video conferencing equipment was installed by Highland Council.
A spokesman for the council confirmed that Mrs Guthrie was employed by them as a “school pupil support officer” at a cost of £10,250-a-year.
A spokesman for Highland Council said it was the first time it had tried the remote web-based school lessons.
But this week he admitted: “It did not work. It was a good idea, but re-opening the school takes into account the needs of the family’s circumstances.
“We have identified a relief teacher who is able to go to Canna to provide the cover.
“The mother of the children will continue to provide some pupil support once the supply teacher arrives.
“The IT equipment provided for the experiment will continue to be used at the school.
“The reopening of the school is at the request of the parents, who would prefer the children to be taught by a teacher in the school.”