Parents question safety of Mull’s dilapidated high school

Tobermory High School

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Concerns over the dilapidated state of Tobermory High School resulted in a record turnout of parents at Mull Community Council’s latest meeting.

Eighteen buckets of rainwater were collected during a recent downpour at the school which is due to temporarily take in 74 extra pupils from Salen Primary School while the youngsters’ own building undergoes major refurbishment.

‘There are major repair problems at the high school,’ councillor Mary-Jean Devon reported to Oban, Lorn and the Isles (OLI) Area Committee last week.

‘In the words of parents, it’s dilapidated. Council officers are getting lots of emails and letters about this from worried Salen parents.

‘They have invited David Mitchell from Dunoon school to talk to them about the decant process but this is not the answer they were looking for.

‘Parents want to know there have been risk  assessments to see if Tobermory High School can cope. They want to know their children will be in a healthy and safe environment,’

Councillor Jim Lynch asked council officers to keep OLI Area Committee members up to date on the situation.

Councillor Devon also said the high school’s nurse has been struggling to get a space in the school to see young people who have issues.

In a response she got from Argyll and Bute Council, she was told it would only be doing basic repairs.

Tracy Mayo, chairwoman of Dervaig Primary School’s Parent Council, also raised a concern of parents about the future leadership of Tobermory High School.

‘I would like to know it will be given the importance it deserves,’ she said.

An acting headteacher is in post but parents do not have a date for the recruitment of a permanent head teacher.

Later in the OLI Area Committee meeting, Peter Bain, who is Oban High School head teacher and executive head of Tiree High School, said he had not been asked to be an executive head of any other school and directed any questions on that to the education department.

He said the system between Oban and Tiree worked very well, making a point that every school was unique with its own identity, vision, values and uniform.

Mr Bain also talked about some of the benefits of schools sharing curriculums and video link-up classes.

‘Every year we get four or five youngsters who come over from Tobermory. They are always welcome but I’m hoping, for the young people who don’t want to come and who have been coming out of necessity, the video classes will allow them to stay at home and do some of their courses online.’

Physical education has been taught online to Tiree pupils over three months in the past during a staff shortage. Tiree staff were present during lessons but were ‘overseen’ by experienced staff in Oban.


Caption: Tobermory High School.