Rise in health concerns reported due to conditions at Broadford Primary on Skye

The 93-pupil school at Broadford has the second largest primary roll on Skye. Pic, Willie Urquhart

By Keith MacKenzie: keith.mackenzie@whfp.com 

Around a third of children at Broadford primary school in Skye have experienced breathing problems since starting their education – according to a survey of parents which was published this week.

The survey, of 66 parents of past and present pupils, was carried out as local pressure mounts for a new school in the south Skye village.

Broadford Primary School Parent Council compiled the survey which said that almost 30 per cent of parents now believed their child’s health issues were being aggravated by conditions in the school.

Only five (seven per cent) said their child’s health did not improve after leaving school, with 17 (26 per cent) saying that it had.

Damp patches on the school roof

In 2014 a report which came before Highland Council revealed conditions in Broadford to be near the bottom of a list of 178 schools assessed by the local authority.

However, the parents have been frustrated at the lack of any firm promise of improvement at what is Skye’s second largest school.

There have been numerous complaints that the school is damp, too small, and lacks in a number of basic facilities.

Last week Highland Council’s budget leader Alister MacKinnon and local councillor John Finlayson again met with members of the parent council and Broadford Community Council, to discuss conditions at the school.

Parent council chairperson Norma Morrison said the case for a new school was made obvious during the visit.

A council delegation on a recent visit to Broadford. Pic, Willie Urquhart

“As if by magic we were going around the school and we showed him (Councillor MacKinnon) a leak in the nursery, and he was promptly hit by a drip through the electric heater.”

Councillor Mackinnon said that the poor state of the school was now acknowledged, but historically, a strong lobbying case for a replacement had not been made.

Councillor Finlayson said: “Parents have recorded statistical information that clearly shows that when in the school the health of children and staff with asthma and other chest conditions is much worse.

“The historical situation is disappointing, but something needs done now to ensure the school is replaced and the health of those attending is put first.

“New houses are being built in Broadford and other projects in the area – including the new hospital and Marine Harvest’s feed plant – will impact on capacity.”

Parents say the school is a health hazard
Another example of deteriorating conditions