New pupil to be a real high flier
Starting first year is exciting enough for most 12-year-olds, however one girl’s school adventure is about to really take off.
Teigan Scott will take a weekly flight to secondary school on Mainland Orkney.
The North Ronaldsay girl was the only pupil at Britain’s smallest school and her leaving means it will close.
North Ronaldsay Primary School’s single classroom will be kept on “stand-by” from August.
Teigan has attended the tiny school building for several years but will now take a 20-minute flight to attend Kirkwall Grammar School.
Her mother Maureen Johnstone said: “Teigan has just finished primary seven and is heading to Kirkwall Grammar School.
“She’s had a lot of preparation for the move. She leaves early on the Monday and will come back on the Friday. She’ll stay in Papdale Halls during the week.”
Ms Johnstone said the school closure was “a big loss to the island” but that Teigan would know a lot of pupils at her new school.
She added: “She is our youngest, so it will be a bit quiet around the house.”
Councillor Kevin Woodbridge said the population on North Ronaldsay, the most northern island in the Orkney archipelago, had halved since he arrived in 1977.
He said poor transport links and broadband services affect the population’s ability to work.
He said: “It’s very sad but it demonstrates the decline on the island that has led to this.”
Orkney Islands Council said the school would be brought back into use if more families with primary school age children move to the island. It will also be used by community groups.