Our dirty and gross school is plagued by mites, mice and mould – we’re absolutely miserable

PUPILS have described their school as “dirty and disgusting” after it was plagued by mice and mites and potentially dangerous concrete was found there.

Students at Charleston Academy in Inverness say their school is “battered and bruised” and teachers are having to navigate damage, flooding and buckets to catch drips.

Students claim teachers at the “battered and bruised” Charleston Academy in Inverness are working to repair damage


Students claim teachers at the “battered and bruised” Charleston Academy in Inverness are working to repair damagePhoto credit: CASCADE NEWS
Students have stated that they want to change schools


Students have stated that they want to change schools

Unreliable reinforced aerated concrete (RAAC) was also found.

And concerned parent Marion Rennie has compiled a list of comments from students concerned about the condition of the buildings.

One student even said, “The buildings are just dirty and disgusting and it makes me want to change schools.”

Another added: “The walls and ceilings have signs of mold and dripping. It can’t be right. The school is falling apart and there is nothing we can do about it.

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“Floor B was flooded and classes were disrupted, there was water damage and lots of buckets to catch drips. Any solutions Charleston proposes are temporary and will become a permanent problem.

“Physically the building is falling apart, but the teachers are kind-hearted and care deeply about how we learn.”

Details of the comments were published in the Inverness Courier. There were a total of 39 responses from students.

Some used single words such as “crumbling, tosh, hopeless, disgusting, terrible, moldy, depressing, rubbish and terrible” to summarize what they think of the establishment.

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Others said: “It’s crumbling, but the asbestos is the worst.” There are damp spots on the ceilings and the hallways are way too narrow.

“If it rains, buckets will be placed on the top floor along the technology corridor in the classrooms.

“There are chunks sticking out of the walls. Scientific desks have holes in them, locks on toilet doors don’t work.”

Some believe that the condition of the school even has an impact on learning.

One said: “Failed. It’s hard to tell if water is dripping on your desk. I had a bucket on my desk to catch the drips from the leaky roof.”

In June, Charleston Academy suffered from a red mite infestation, prompting the council to seek expert advice on the outbreak. Then last month practical home economics classes were suspended after mice were found at the school.

Previously – in a nationwide scandal that affected dozens of schools, hospitals and other buildings – reinforced aerated concrete was found.

The school is set to be replaced by Highland Council, but local representative Alex Graham says it is time for the Scottish Government to step in with additional support.

“Education is certainly being impacted as the school’s leadership team appears to be moving classes around as needed,” the former Inverness Provost said.

“Some classrooms in some areas are closed as the roof is currently unsafe and I believe there is significant disruption to everyday school life.

“School staff are doing a heroic job in coping, but there is no doubt they are making an impact.”

Ms Rennie added: “I believe it is important to include and respect student voice.

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“Students are educated in a building that directly impacts their learning and well-being, and this is reflected in their heartbreaking words.”

Highland Council has been contacted for comment.

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Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing edmund@ustimespost.com.

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