New pupil to be a real high flier

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS -

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.

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