HOPES ARE BEING raised that the long-delayed decision to go ahead with building the new Elgin High School will go some way to helping teacher recruitment in Moray.
The Scottish Government revealed on Thursday that after months of prevarication, funding for the project would now be released – with Moray Council receiving a £500,000 additional payment to help cover expenses incurred by the costly delays that saw the project slip by almost a year.
The decision comes at a time when Moray is battling to deal with a teacher recruitment crisis, with several Council-led schemes already put in place to try and attract new talent to the region.
Now the Corporate Director of education and social care, Laurence Findlay, believes that the news of another new school for the region might help encourage more teachers to head north.
He said: “In our experience if you have a nice, new school with a pleasant environment for learning then it does tend to attract teachers.
“We also find it easier to bring teachers to larger settlements like Elgin than to outlying areas – and the new school will only help that. There are real benefit in teaching in a new school, when I go into Elgin Academy I can feel a positive, vibrant ethos.
“The building and the environment there has such an impact on the quality of learning and teaching.”
With the funding issues now out of the way and the Elgin High School project set to begin early next year, eyes will be switching to Lossiemouth and the possibility of it being next in line in replacing its ageing High School building.
To that end community councillors in the town were advised earlier this month that a ‘drilling rig’ would appear on the school playing fields, local councillor John Cowe reporting: “This will be for preparatory work checking on the possible foundations for a new school.”