Nicolson Institute

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Nicolson Institute
Sgoil MhicNeacail
Matheson Hall, Nicolson Institute, 1.jpg
Springfield Road, Stornoway


Coordinates58°12′40″N 6°22′44″W / 58.211°N 6.379°W / 58.211; -6.379Coordinates: 58°12′40″N 6°22′44″W / 58.211°N 6.379°W / 58.211; -6.379
Established1873; 147 years ago (1873)
FounderAlexander Morrison Nicolson
RectorFrances Murray

The Nicolson Institute (Gaelic: Sgoil MhicNeacail) in Stornoway, is the largest school in the Western Isles, Scotland.

The Nicolson is the only six-year secondary school in Lewis. With the Sir E. Scott School in Harris, they provide education up to Advanced Higher level.

The student population is around 1000. The school has Gaelic-speaking pupils, although these are in the minority. There are five houses, named after five significant former rectors: Addison, Forbes, Gibson, Macrae and Sutherland. Addison contains only pupils who claim to be fluent in Gaelic.

The current rector is an alumnus of the school and also a former dux of the school. She is the first former pupil to be appointed to the post in the school's history.[1]

The Nicolson was re-built on the site of the original Stornoway Primary next to where the old Nicolson was.[2] The old school comprised several different buildings, all built between 1904 (Matheson Hall) and the Main Building (1957) as well as a few other building that were demolished in the 1980s. The Main building was extended many times and a canteen was built in a second neighbouring building in the 1980s.[citation needed]

New School[edit]

In June 2010, the first part of the new school project started with the Springfield South (maths & geography) was demolished, (these subjects were housed in temporary portacabins at the back of the school). The project took 2 years and the new school opened on 16 August 2012 to staff and pupils. The old main building was then demolished to become the new bus park. The technical (Springfield North) and former Religious studies department (Matheson Hall) were retained, (technical is joint to the new building by a tunnel and Matheson hall is now used by the council.


In 2010, an enclosure intended as a play area for a severely autistic pupil was removed, with the local authority claiming that the supplier had not understood the requirements.[3]

A student at the school committed suicide while at the school; his parents sued the health board for providing what they say is an inaccurate diagnosis from unsuitable tests.[4]

In September 2019, a teacher at the school was charged with sexual offenses.[5]

Notable Pupils[edit]


  1. ^ "First female head for Nicolson Institute on Lewis". BBC News. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  2. ^ "The Nicolson Institute:- The on-going story". The Nicolson Institute/Sgoil MhicNeacail. Retrieved 23 Jan 2011.
  3. ^ "'Cage' for autistic pupil removed". BBC News. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Parents of suicide teenager sue health board". BBC News. 26 July 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Teacher charged with sexual offences". BBC News. 18 September 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Island community mourns kidnapped aid worker". (9 October 2010) BBC News. Retrieved 23 Jan 2011.
  7. ^ "Angus MacNeil MP, MP for Na H-Eileanan An Iar". SNP website. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.

External links[edit]