Highlands & Islands

New housing pressure on Inverness area schools

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Image caption Highland Council has forecast that new housing will leave schools in Inverness struggling to accommodate more pupils

Schools will not be able to cope with the numbers of families expected to move into Inverness and the surrounding area, Highland Council has warned.

The local authority said forecasted new house building will put pressures on all school rolls in the area.

Within 15 years, the city's five secondary schools will go over capacity, the council said.

It has started a review of how much money developers contribute towards the cost of building new schools.

Councillors are also to be asked to approve negotiations with developers on new rates for their contributions, and that they "safeguard" land for new schools.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption How much housebuilders contribute towards schools is under review

Council leader Margaret Davidson said: "We urgently need to plan ahead for school capacity, particularly in primary schools, to keep up with development in the city.

"The council is undertaking proactive work to ensure that our future communities can be provided with the facilities required to support a good quality of life and the future education of our children."

Other solutions to help ease overcrowding include building a new Gaelic school next to Inverness Royal Academy.

Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis, Inverness' Gaelic school opened in 2007, would be turned into an English medium primary under the plan.

Inverness' five secondary schools include the recently opened new Inverness Royal Academy.

Built at a cost of about £34m, the 1,420-pupil capacity site is the largest school in the Highlands.

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