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£100 reimbursement scheme to help pupils at fire-hit Easter Ross school get back on their feet; Highland Council chief executive visits Park Primary site and briefs parents on future plans


By Hector MacKenzie

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Park Primary the day after the blaze. The buildings now look set to be demolished. Picture: James MacKenzie
Park Primary the day after the blaze. The buildings now look set to be demolished. Picture: James MacKenzie

PARENTS of pupils at a fire-ravaged Easter Ross primary school will be offered £100 per pupil to help get kitted out for a swiftly organised return to education.

Highland Council chief executive Donna Manson made the pledge outside the shell of Park Primary in Invergordon as the smell of the devastating fire the day before still hung in the air.

Parents are tonight being briefed as to the way forward pending a longer-term plan for the replacement of the buildings.

Invergordon Academy is to house the entire school population for the foreseeable future under plans swiftly drawn up even as firemen were still attempting to bring the blaze under control yesterday.

The cash is intended to help replace winter jackets and PE kit lost in the blaze as pupils followed protocol and made an exit from the burning building on Monday morning.

With an old laptop now confirmed to be the cause of the blaze, Mrs Manson was quick to point out that it had no connection to the Chromebooks widely used by pupils across the Highlands.

It's understood protocols will be put into place over the use of laptops with older models – how old has not yet been made clear – banned and replaced.

The blaze sent shock waves across the Highlands and could have implications for other schools. Picture: James MacKenzie
The blaze sent shock waves across the Highlands and could have implications for other schools. Picture: James MacKenzie

The school seems set to be demolished meaning an uncertain future for the 180-plus pupils who have been educated there.

Mrs Manson acknowledged that some children had been traumatised by the incident – in which all pupils and staff were safetly accounted for – and that efforts would be made to normalise their school lives as soon as possible. Educational psychologists will work with teachers as required.

The Health and Safety Executive has also launched an investigation which the local authority will feed into as required.

It's understood Highland Council officials are awaiting the results of a fire investigation before making any detailed comment about any lessons to be learned or how the incident could impact protocols and safety systems at other schools.

More to follow.


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