Pupils from Portree will today attend different primary schools for the first time as a new Gaelic School opens its doors.
The school becomes the fifth dedicated Gaelic specific school across Scotland – and the third in the Highland region – to offer pupils the opportunity to be educated in the form of Gaelic medium education.
The construction phase of the £8.7million project began in September 2016 and concluded this month as parents and friends of the school will gather at the end of this week to celebrate the schools opening with a family ceilidh.
The Scottish Government has pledged £4.75million towards the cost of the project in an encouragement for more families to seek bilingual education for their children.
Councillor Ronald MacDonald said: “The opening of the school really cements Skye’s importance in being a cultural store for the Gaelic language.
“We do welcome the school and have to use it to promote Skye as a repository for the Gaelic language and its culture.”
Flora Guidi becomes the first head teacher of Bun Sgoil Ghaidhlig Phort Righ.
The former Margaret Carnegie Hostel in Portree, which was built in 1859, and a more recent nearby boys’ hostel, was demolished to make way for the new school.
Frank Reid, director of Robertson Northern, said: “This school will be of great value to the area and, of course, to Gaelic medium education.
“This is an important milestone not just in the project itself, but in the progress being made in this area and we’re proud to be working with the council on this project.”
The contract is part of an overall capital investment programme of £14.8million in Portree, which included the formation of a new access road to the school and refurbishment of the former Elgin Hostel building to create a new pupil residence for Portree High.