Harris Academy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the comprehensive school in Dundee. For the federation of academies in the London area, see Harris Federation.
Harris Academy
Motto Spe et labore
By hope and work
Established 31 August 1885[1]
Type Comprehensive
Rector Barry Millar [2]
Deputy Rector Gordon Laidlaw
Deputy Heads Angela White
Michael Stewart
Leona Chacko
Founder William Harris
Location Perth Road
Coordinates: 56°27′22″N 3°00′32″W / 56.456°N 3.009°W / 56.456; -3.009
Local authority Dundee
Staff 107 (as of 2013-14)
Students 1300
Gender Mixed
Houses Birnam
Colours Maroon, Gold, Black
Website Harris Academy

Harris Academy is a co-educational comprehensive school in the West End of Dundee, Scotland. Harris Academy was founded in 1885 and is the oldest public school in Dundee.

Over the course of its history, Harris Academy has been housed at three different locations across the city in Park Place, Perth Road and Lawton Road temporally, with its permanent campus based on Perth Road.


The school is situated in the west of Dundee, north of the railway line, the A85 and Dundee Airport. The University of Dundee Botanic Garden is nearby to the west.

List of rectors[edit]

Tenure Rector
1885-1909 James Brebner[3]
1909-1930 Barry Robb
1930-1950 Unknown
1950-1969 A.E. Hope[4]
1969-1985 James Hamilton[5]
1985 - 1997 Andrew Johnstone
1997-2015 James Thewliss
2015-2016 Angela White (acting)
2016-present Barry Millar[6]


Harris Academy has a house system which allocates each pupil to one of four houses, named Birnam, Cawdor, Forres and Kinloch. The former three come from houses in William Shakespeare's "Macbeth". The latter comes from the name of George Kinloch, former MP and reformer in Dundee and from the village of Kinloch. Each of the houses has an associated colour, Birnam - Red, Cawdor - Yellow, Forres - Green, Kinloch - Blue. Each house competes against each other in Interhouse competitions; both sporting and academic. They receive points for their success, and at the end of the year, the points are totalled to declare the winner of the house championship, only the years from 2004-2015 have been listed:

School year House winner
2004-05 Kinloch
2007-08 Forres
2008-09 Kinloch
2013-14 Birnam
2015-16 Kinloch


Harris Academy was established on 31 August, 1885 through a bequest from corn-merchant and mill owner William Harris. The original building was in Park Place and the school moved to its present building in Perth Road on 21 April, 1931.

Harris Academy was a selective secondary school until it became a comprehensive in 1973. The last intake to its Primary Department was August 1955.

Harris Academy moved to Lawton Road in 2013 as its former Perth Road building gets revamped. On 22 June 2015, it was announced that Menzieshill High School would shut down and pupils are to transfer to Harris Academy in 2016 when the new Perth Road building is completed. 18 councillors voted in favour for Menzieshill High School to close with 14 councillors against the closure.


The uniform of Harris Academy is a three button blazer in maroon with the school badge embroidered on the left front pocket. It is compulsory for pupils to wear a white shirt with black trousers or skirt but not the maroon blazer. Prefects wear yellow bands on the arms of their blazers. The Harris tie is a maroon tie striped with yellow and black.

Buildings and grounds[edit]

Park Place building (1885-1931)[edit]

Harris Academy's original building was located at Park Place in Dundee which opened on 31 August 1885. Due to the popularity of the school by more pupils joining Harris Academy, the Park Place building was too small for pupils to fit and therefore moved to Perth Road.

Former Perth Road building (1931-2013)[edit]

Harris Academy's former façade at Perth Road

The main building was built in 1931 after the school population outgrew the previous Park Place building. The current building houses the Modern Languages department, the Social Subjects departments, the Science departments, The Religious Education department, the Craft and Design department, the Mathematics department, Assembly Hall, the Guidance base, Year-Heads' offices, and the Rector's office.

The Crawford Lodge annex to the west of the main school was purchased by the Town Council in 1946 as an extension to the school. Classics and modern languages were taught there. It was burnt down in 1958 and remained a shell till it was replaced by the new buildings in the late 1960s. This houses the Computing and Business Studies departments, the Home Economics department, the English department, the Art department, the school library, the careers base, the Dining hall, two of the three gyms, and the school's swimming pool.

In addition to these there is also a Music Block housing the Music department as well as rooms for music tuition; and a substantial Games Hall building with a fitness room. The school has access to a wrought-iron footbridge over the Dundee-Perth railway line to playing fields at the Riverside.

Not far from the school are the school sports grounds at Elliot Road. These include a recently improved pavilion, a rugby pitch and several football or hockey fields. In summer time, it is converted to Athletics tracks.

Blackness Road Annexe (1970s - 1990s)[edit]

In the late 1970s the school experienced a boom in numbers, as a result of its conversion from a Senior Secondary School to a comprehensive school (it was never known as a 'grammar school'). In addition to its Perth Road buildings, Harris Academy took over the premises of Logie Junior Secondary School on Blackness Road, Dundee.

The school was split with 1st and 2nd years attending Harris Academy in the Blackness annexe, 3rd to 6th Years continued at the Perth Road building. Mini-buses provided transport for staff between the two locations by Red Line Coaches. Use of the annexe ceased in 1998,[7] and following a fire that caused extensive damage to the now-vacant school in 2001,[7] the former Logie/Annexe building was demolished.

Closure of Perth Road building[edit]

Harris Academy moved to new temporary premises, at the old Rockwell High School building on Lawton Road on 15 August 2013, remaining there until August 2016 while the new Harris Academy was being built at the Perth Road site.

On the evening of 15 September 2013, a fire broke out at the vacant former Perth Road building while it awaited demolition.[8] A few classrooms on the first and middle floor suffered. The fire was put out quickly by fire crews from three Dundee fire stations. The fire brigade, who investigated the fire, were of the opinion that the fire was started deliberately, probably by youths.

New Perth Road building (2016)[edit]

The new Harris Academy building was a £31 million project.[9] The new Harris Academy building was completed in early 2016, and the move from Menzieshill High School was completed by August 2016.[10]

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://harrisacademy.ea.dundeecity.sch.uk/school-1/school-history/foundation-1885
  2. ^ http://harrisacademy.ea.dundeecity.sch.uk/school-1/documents/parents-newsletters-2015/xmas-newsletter-2015
  3. ^ http://harrisacademy.ea.dundeecity.sch.uk/school-1/school-history
  4. ^ http://harrisacademy.ea.dundeecity.sch.uk/school-1/school-history
  5. ^ http://harrisacademy.ea.dundeecity.sch.uk/school-1/school-history
  6. ^ http://harrisacademy.ea.dundeecity.sch.uk/school-1/documents/parents-newsletters-2015/xmas-newsletter-2015
  7. ^ a b "Old school gutted by fire". telegraph.co.uk. Telegraph Media Group. 2001-03-15. Retrieved 2015-03-24. A fire brigade spokesman said children were seen running away from Logie School, a B-listed building, shortly before the fire started. Around 60 firemen fought the blaze on Tuesday night as it swept through the top floor of the three-storey building and destroyed its clock tower. [..] It opened in 1929 and was later annexed to Dundee's Harris Academy before closing in 1998. 
  8. ^ "Fire breaks out at former Harris Academy". The Courier. DC Thomson. 2013-09-16. Retrieved 2015-03-24. Police and fire crews have launched an investigation after a blaze at the former Harris Academy building on Perth Road. A caretaker at the building raised the alarm shortly before 9pm on Sunday [..] Harris Academy pupils have moved [..] while the Perth Road building is knocked down and rebuilt 
  9. ^ Argo, Andrew (18 July 2014). "New Harris Academy rises from the old". The Courier. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  10. ^ http://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/2015/06/22/decision-day-for-menzieshill-high-school-closure/

External links[edit]