Friday, February 06, 2009

The Nairn Academy scandal

'Nairn Spelding' gurns about the deplorable state of Nairn Academy.
Nairn's four councillors were under fire again last week for failing to attend a high profile meeting between Nairn Academy parents and Highland Council officials over the condition of the school.
It's a subject which does not surface much in the Gurn nor indeed I believe was it featured in Ian Fairweather's vision for Nairn (an excellent document none the less).
Let's hope the public of Nairn begin to waken up to this very important issue. The meeting was well covered by the Nairnshire Telegraph in this week's edition but it is a subject which is not going to go away and is going to require intensive lobbying from the public to bring about much needed improvements to the school.
Over 800 pupils attend Nairn Academy and the building is in a shocking state.
It seems it takes an HMIE report for Highland Council to begin taking action at failing schools and there is no doubt the report on Nairn Academy in 2007 was a damning indictment on the way this school has been neglected.
The council has now approved £1.8million to build a new science block and library which will release existing accommodation for extra classroom space. At present pupils are being taught in school corridors and anyone who has a child there will be able to tell you of their concerns.
Pupils are unable to concentrate on their lessons because where they are being taught is a thoroughfare for pupils and staff.
Add to that leaking ceilings, asbestos in the building which means teachers can't put pins in walls, heating and ventilation problems and inadequate accommodation and you'll get the overall picture.
It was clear from this meeting that parents and the public of Nairn is finally beginning to wake up to the serious problems that exist at the school.
The council is in dire straits financially but one official said the best way to get things done was for the Parent council to make its case as strongly as possible.
Time for us all to get on the case. A good secondary school is as important to the fabric of any community as a healthy vibrant shopping centre.

Nairn Spelding.

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