Ainslie Park High School

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Coordinates: 55°58′37″N 3°14′42″W / 55.977°N 3.245°W / 55.977; -3.245 Ainslie Park High School was a state secondary school in East Pilton, Edinburgh, Scotland.


It was built at the end of World War II. The first headmaster was Norman Murchison who also had the honour of becoming the first Citizen Of The Year for the City Of Edinburgh. A lecture theatre was named in his honour at Edinburgh University Kings Buildings Campus. He retired in June 1968 and was succeeded by Norman Chalmers. The school colours were red and gold and the badge was a golden dolphin on a red ground. From its opening in 1948 until 1965 it was a junior secondary school meaning pupils left at the end of their third academic year. If they wished to sit O grade examinations they had to move on to another school. The 1965/66 academic year saw the school attain senior secondary status thereby allowing pupils to remain into fourth year to sit O grade exams. The school subsequently expanded the academic syllabus to offer Higher examinations.

The opening of Craigroyston Community High School and the falling birth rate since the late sixties was the beginning of the end of Ainslie as a viable secondary school and the building became the North Campus for Edinburgh's Telford College.

There were plans in the late 1990s to convert the main building into flats or demolish it. As yet the building still remains unoccupied.

1971 tragedy[edit]

On 21–22 November 1971 five members of a mountaineering club at Ainslie Park School and an 18-year-old trainee instructor from Newcastle-under-Lyme died in a blizzard while trying to walk from Cairn Gorm to Corrour Bothy.[1]

Only two members of the party survived — instructor Catherine Davidson and pupil Raymond Leslie.

The members of the party who died were: Sheelagh Sunderland [instructor], Carol Bertram, Susan Byrne, Lorraine Dick, William Kerr and Diane Dudgeon.

As of 2009 it stands as the UK's worst mountaineering disaster.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable former teachers[edit]