Parents at an Inverness secondary school are angry after it appears a multi-million pound modernization project is running into delays.
Culloden Academy Parent Council says it is “absolutely furious” that the proposed Culloden Academy – one of the most overcrowded schools in the area – with the latest apparent setback.
After sending a letter on behalf of Culloden Community Council and Parent Council to Highland Council Chief Executive Donna Manson asking her to review the situation in May, the parents are now asking the public to help.
They say they were told at a meeting on Thursday that the school extension project has been postponed until 2025.
A statement from the parents’ council on social media read: “We were told this at the stakeholder group last night – for the first phase of the school extension we have been informed that the estimated completion date has slipped to 2025, and that is only if there has been approval for additional capital funding and if the school continues to remain a priority school under the program investment budgets.
“We are absolutely furious about this and are frustrated and upset about another delay. CAPC [Culloden Academy Parent Council] the representatives seemed to be the only ones at the stakeholder meeting who did not know this information. We have been looking to move the project forward since early 2020. In February 2021, we were told that the expansion building would be completed by August 2023. Midway through the year, the increased budget and The project’s expected completion scope was August 2024. Now we are announced August 2025. This project was deemed essential as early as 2018 and since then very little progress has been made. There has not been a stakeholder meeting since January 2022.
“We ask that you as parents please write to your local advisers – there was very little reaction to this announcement last night – it appeared they were aware of this information with the possible exception of a. Our newly elected Councilors have all defended the new extension to the Board [Culloden Academy] in all their flyers and social media, but they didn’t have much to say last night.
“We understand the state of the economy and business, the cost of inflation and all that goes with what the UK is facing at the moment, but if you were a private sector company, that just wouldn’t be acceptable – and neither would the school project been properly funded in 2018 with staff resources and a commitment to work on the designs in a timely manner, we wouldn’t be in this situation four years later where we still have no school design and planning has yet Culloden Academy school enrollments are increasing and as more and more houses are built in our catchment area the pressure on the size of classrooms and teaching staff will only get worse.
“Highland Council are trying to wear us down but we will fight for the school our community deserves. There is talk of another secondary school needed in Inverness East but Culloden Academy is already there serving a large and growing community. We are currently preparing our response to this information, but help us out by contacting your local advisor and let them know what you think.
“We need your support and welcome all comments and feedback on this.”
Highland Council has been asked to comment.