Inverasdale Primary School

Much of our time and energies during the later part of 1997 and early 1998 were devoted to the campaign to save Inverasdale Primary School, which the Highland Council had been threatening to close. At the time, the village school was the only communal facility at Inverasdale and it was felt that it played an essential part in keeping the community alive. It is difficult to attract young, economically active families, who are essential for the areas regeneration, to a village where there is no school.

In addition to providing children with an education, the school is a vital part of the social fabric of our community and is used for a wide range of purposes by numerous local organisations.

The closure of our primary school would turn the area into a place where the retired outnumber the families, where holiday homes outnumber permanent dwellings and where children are a rarity.

The support of our campaign, locally, nationally and internationally, was overwhelming and we continue to hear from other villages in similar situations. Inverasdale is just one of many rural primary schools that have been targeted throughout Scotland, and the outcry has been so loud, long and sustained that the Scottish Executive has now sent strong messages to local authorities to look at educational and social reasons for keeping small schools open, rather than closing them for short-lived, and often illusory savings.

As a result, we noticed a change in the tone of many Highland Councillors who were unhappy about the proposals. The first test of how strongly their feelings were came on 23 April 1998 when the Education Committee met to vote on which schools should close and which should remain open.The good news for us was that they voted to keep Inverasdale School open.

The school roll continues to fluctuate as new families move into the area and older children move on to secondary school in Gairloch. Although the school has been saved from closure once there is always a feeling locally that it may well be threatened again if the roll falls. We are all still very keen to see new families move into the area and help support our school.

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