Dunoon Grammar School

Dunoon Grammar School is a secondary school in Dunoon, Cowal Peninsula, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It was founded in 1641.

Dunoon Grammar School
DGS logo 2.jpg
Coordinates55°57′44″N 4°55′27″W / 55.96222°N 4.92417°W / 55.96222; -4.92417Coordinates: 55°57′44″N 4°55′27″W / 55.96222°N 4.92417°W / 55.96222; -4.92417
TypeComprehensive Secondary
Established1641; 381 years ago (1641)
Teaching staffapprox. 70
Number of students670 as of 2017[1]
AffiliationsDunoon Primary School
Kirn Primary School
Innellan Primary School
Kilmodan Primary School
Sandbank Primary School
Strachur Primary School
Strone Primary School
Tighnabruaich Primary School
Lochgoilhead Primary School
Toward Primary School
WebsiteDunoon Grammar School

It is currently a non-denominational comprehensive school which covers all stages from S1 to S6 (ages 12–18).


The present school building, which took two years to complete, is on Ardenslate Road, Kirn, and was opened to pupils and staff in August 2007. It consists of a main teaching block with two gymnasia, a fitness suite, dance studio, assembly hall, technology and technical areas and music rooms. There is a suite of rooms, purpose-built for education of pupils with additional support needs. Two astroturf sports pitches have been built on the site of the old school building, which was demolished in 2007. The pitches are serviced by training floodlights.

The newest building is the third Grammar School building in Dunoon. The first was in Hillfoot Street in the town, while the second was built on Ardenslate Road adjacent to where the latest facility is located. The Hillfoot Street premises became Dunoon Primary School when the newer building was built on Ardenslate Road in the 1960s.

The agreed maximum capacity of the school is 1150 pupils. As of 2013 it was well below this limit with 824 pupils and around 70 staff.[2][3][4] The next year the roll fell to 783.[5]


Unusually for a state school Dunoon has a boarding facility for some of its pupils. From Mondays to Fridays pupils from the furthest parts of the catchment area stay here in preference to a twice daily 30-mile bus journey. The concrete facility, built in the 1960s, superseded the system of local digs, which were used in earlier eras by the likes of Labour party leader John Smith. The pupils using the hostel are cared for by a staff of seven.[6][7]

Primary schoolsEdit

As the only secondary school in Cowal, Dunoon Grammar receives pupils from all of the primaries on the peninsula.[6] These include primary schools in Dunoon, Kirn, Innellan, Kilmodan, Sandbank, Strachur, Strone, Tighnabruaich, Lochgoilhead and Toward.

School rollEdit

In recent decades the total roll has been falling. The number of pupils staying for S5 and S6 has increased over the same period. The school had higher numbers between the 1960s and 1990s when an American naval squadron was based at Holy Loch.

Exam pass rateEdit

In 2012 it was shown that the exam pass rate among senior pupils at the school had lagged behind the rest of Argyll and Bute for the past 3 years consecutively.[8]

Head teachersEdit

Name Duration
Joe Rhodes 1981-2008
Stewart Shaw 2008-2013
David Mitchell 2013-

Notable former pupilsEdit


  1. ^ "List of Special Schools/SEN Units with pupil roll information as at September 2017". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Dunoon Grammar School Website". Dunoongrammar.argyll-bute.sch.uk. 23 August 2012. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "List of Primary Schools with pupil roll information as at September 2013". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  5. ^ "List of Primary Schools with pupil roll information as at September 2014". Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b "advert for position of Head Teacher, Dunoon Grammar School". The Glasgow Herald. 20 September 1980. p. 26.
  7. ^ Caldwell, Eleanor (20 April 2001). "Home from home for the weekly boarders - Article". TES. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Dunoon Grammar report card: 'Could do better'". Cowal Courier. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Clan Macpherson Museum - Newtonmore". Clan-macpherson.org. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  10. ^ a b Andrew Roth (22 February 2001). "Obituary: Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish | Politics". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  11. ^ a b c "Why do some schools produce clusters of celebrities?". BBC News. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2018.

External linksEdit