New Skye Gaelic school approved
A NEW Gaelic school on Skye was approved by Highland councillors this week, despite widespread disapproval on the island.
The proposal, agreed by the local authority’s north planning committee on Tuesday, involves demolishing a 19th century former poorhouse and hostel in Portree and replacing it with a new school described by one councillor as ‘poorly designed, drab and factory-like’.
Objectors said the current building, formerly the Margaret Carnegie hostel, should be incorporated into the new school whereas others said it should be abandoned and the money should go to current schools on the island in need of repair and upgrades.
Concerned Portree resident, Catriona Leslie, urged the planning committee to reject the proposal. She said: ‘Given Highland council’s severe shortage of funds, it would seem logical to cancel the proposed Gaelic medium school in Portree and build new schools in Broadford and Dunvegan where they are so badly needed. Portree primary school has a very successful and greatly appreciated Gaelic medium unit and the building is relatively modern. So where is the logic in building a separate school in Portree and thus increasing running and staffing costs at a time when money is so short?’
But Skye councillor, Drew Millar, pledged his support to the application during Tuesday’s meeting: ‘I and the majority of people support this. This is one of the biggest steps forward for Gaelic education in Skye for a long time.’