Leith Academy

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Leith Academy is a state school in Leith, Edinburgh. It currently educates around 900 pupils and around 2,800 part-time adult learners.[1] The headteacher, Jack M Simpson was appointed in September 2008.


It is one of the oldest schools in Scotland, with its founding usually credited to 1560, though there are records of a Leith grammar school as early as 1521. To begin with the school was under the control of the kirk session of South Leith Parish Church. It remained so until 1806. It is not known where the school met until 1636 when records make reference to meeting in Trinity House. The school met there until 1710 when after a disagreement about rent, the kirk session decided to move the school to King James hospital which stood on what is now South Leith Parish churchyard.

In 1792 the kirk agreed to a purpose-built building for the school. The building, beside Leith Links, was completed in 1806. The school changed its name to Leith Academy in 1888. The Leith Links site lasted the school many years but due to its continued growth by 1931, a new building was required and the Duke Street site was built. The Links site is now used as Leith Primary School and the Duke Street site was used as part of Queen Margaret University College. The school's current building was completed in 1991 after much campaigning by staff, students and parents.

The school was founded by South Leith Parish Church, and strong links remain to this day, with the school's annual Christmas assembly being held at the South Leith Parish Church.


The current Leith Academy building was completed in May 1991. It features an innovative design based around a "Main Street" leading from one end of the school to the other with all departments and facilities leading off it. The Main Street has a glass roof and is lined on either side by plants. These plants were featured on the BBC Television programme The Beechgrove Garden.[2]

Notable former pupils[edit]

Grammar School[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0042/00420794.xlsx
  2. ^ "Creates Healthy Working Environments - Testimonials". In-Plants. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Tom Patten". Heritage.imeche.org. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Real Lives - D-Day landings hero celebrates 105th birthday". The Scotsman. 6 September 2008. Archived from the original on 8 September 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008. Jock attended Leith Academy before starting work as a stationer and nib maker in 1917. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°58′1.90″N 3°9′59.64″W / 55.9671944°N 3.1665667°W / 55.9671944; -3.1665667