Inverness Royal Academy
|Scottish Gaelic||Acadamaidh Rìoghail Inbhir Nis|
|Motto||Labore et Virtute|
|Medium of education||English, Gaelic|
|Scottish schools online||Inverness Royal Academy|
|Website||Academy official website|
A former grammar school with a history dating back to the 13th century, the Academy became a comprehensive in the mid-1970s. It has been at its present site in the Culduthel area of the city since 1977.
The school is a six year comprehensive school serving an extensive area. The associated primary schools are Aldourie, Cauldeen, Farr, Foyers, Hilton, Holm, Lochardil and Stratherrick. Children living within the catchment area who attended St. Joseph's and Bishop Eden primaries also transfer there after Primary 7. Parents living outwith the catchment area can request that their children be placed there. At present around one hundred children live outwith the catchment area and attend the academy.
Tracing its history back to the school established by Dominican Friars in 1223 through the town Grammar School in 1668 to the founding of the Academy in 1792, the school has been located at the following locations around the city.
- Friars Street area (Dominican Priory) 1223-1668
- Church Street (now the Dunbar Centre) 1668-1792
- Academy Street (formerly New Street) 1792-1895
- Midmills building (currently of UHI-Inverness College) 1895 - 1980 and
- Culduthel Road (current building) 1977–present
The school's continuous existence as a developing institution cannot be demonstrated from the surviving evidence, and it is probably safer to interpret that as a succession of educational provisions in and mainly for the burgh, rather than the survival of a single school. There is, however, evidence that concentration on a single site and within a single building was favoured increasingly (as was the pattern elsewhere in Britain and the transatlantic colonies, from which many of the early Academy subscriptions came) in the later eighteenth century, and that the grammar school would be the focus of this, notably during the Rectorship of Hector Fraser, who taught many of the merchants and lawyers involved in the establishment of the Royal Academy, which was from the first an innovative and self-contained project aiming, as its first minute book amply demonstrates, to provide something like a stepping stone to full university status for the burgh, with a curriculum designed in the light of the ideas of the Enlightenment and dominated not by the Classics but by the sciences and mathematics.
For the first quarter-century of the Academy's existence something like this ideal was sustained, and the appointments of its Rectors showed a bias towards the emerging sciences - for example that of Alexander Nimmo, who became a disciple of Telford, and left in 1811 to work on civil engineering projects in the West of Ireland. He was followed by a mathematician, Matthew Adam.
The Academy was open to girls from the start, and in its English, writing and drawing classes provided the sort of education for girls that middle class parents were happy with, although there seems also to have been an enthusiasm for geography. In the mid-nineteenth century one girl was adjudged the best mathematics pupil in the school, but could not be awarded the appropriate medal, which went only to boys.
From the opening of the Academy in 1792 (when pupils came from all over the Highlands and across the Atlantic, especially the Caribbean - some are shown in the surviving rolls as "coloured") a continuous existence can safely be traced, in which major milestones after 1792 were the adaptation to compulsory schooling after 1872, and the demands of the professions generally, which led to the establishment of the new building on the Crown in 1895.
The school's management was by the Inverness School Board after 1910, and later by Inverness County Council and Highland Regional Council.
On 28 April 1962 when the school's outdoor club was climbing on Stac Pollaidh, a 15-year-old boy slipped and fell 40 feet to his death.
There was movement in the 1950s and 1960s (when Gaelic speaking pupils from the Western Isles were still accepted and housed in the Hostel on Culduthel Road) from fee-paying and selectivity to the status of area comprehensive in the mid and late 1970s, again on a new site.
On 26 June 1992 the school was visited by Prince Andrew, Duke of York to celebrate its bi-centenary, with Lachlan Mackintosh of Mackintosh. On 23 November 2009 his brother, Prince Edward, visited the school, having also visited on 11 June 2003.
The school has 3 floors for a variety of subjects as well as a number of huts located at the back of the school. The first floor has the maths, English and CDT classrooms as well as the reception in the front concourse. The first floor is home to the geography, history, modern languages, computing, (soon to be discontinued) Admin and home economics. The second Floor has the science classrooms and art department.
The school is to receive 35 million pounds to improve the condition of the building. In a five year spending plan by the Highland Council The school was made a priority by the Highland Council's ruling administration. The money is to be spend over the period of the five years to help improve the school facilities and building.
Notable former pupils
||This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability or notability policies. (October 2012)|
- Stu Mackay (PE Teacher at Balfron High School)
- Prof Sue Black OBE
- Murdo Fraser, Conservative MSP since 2001 for Mid Scotland and Fife
- Iain Gray, Labour MSP since 2007 for East Lothian and Edinburgh Pentlands from 1999–2003
- Provost Allan Sellar OBE
- Seumas Bàn Mac A' Phearsain (James MacPherson) in the 1750s - writer of the Scottish Gaelic epic 'Ossian'
- Prof G.W.S. Barrow, Sir William Fraser Professor of Scottish History and Palæography from 1979-92 at the University of Edinburgh
- Sir Gordon Beveridge, Vice-Chancellor from 1986-97 of Queen's University Belfast, Professor of Chemical Engineering from 1971-86 at the University of Strathclyde, and President from 1984-5 of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)
- Very Rev John Annand Fraser MBE, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from 1958–59
- James Gordon (Upper Canada politician)
- Robert Patterson Grant
- Hamish Gray, Baron Gray of Contin, Conservative MP from 1970-83 for Ross and Cromarty, and Lord Lieutenant of Inverness from 1996–2002
- Derry Irvine, Baron Irvine of Lairg, Lord High Chancellor of England and Wales from 1997–2003
- Maj-Gen Robert McAfee CB, Director-General from 1993-5 of Army Training
- Fred MacAulay (1925–2003), BBC broadcaster, and former Manager from 1980-83 of BBC Radio Highland
- John A. Mackay, missionary, ecumenist and Third President of Princeton Theological Seminary
- James David Macdonald (ornithologist)
- Elizabeth Mackintosh, author who wrote under the name Josephine Tey
- Alistair MacLean, famous novelist
- Ranald MacLean
- Sir James Matheson
- Angus Reach, journalist
- Anthony Ross (rector)
- James Ross (Canadian businessman)
- Douglas Young (lawyer)
- Duncan MacQuarrie (HM Inspector of Schools with national responsibility for Gaelic, HM Inspector of Education with national responsibility for Gaelic, Member of the BBC's Gaelic Education Programme Committee, Observer on the Board of Management of Leirsinn (the Gaelic Research Centre, He inaugurated and established the world's first Gaelic-medium higher education course at the Gaelic College, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, in the Isle of Skye, Founding member of the national co-ordinating body for Gaelic development (Communn na Gaidhlig) and instrumental in setting up Storlann Naiseanta na Gaidhlig, the National Gaelic Resource Centre, in 1999.He was awarded the MBE in 1989. Finally and most importantly, he taught me Gaelic at Inverness Royal Academy over the period 1986-1990. Thank You Sir.)