Perth Academy

Perth Academy is a state comprehensive secondary school in Perth, Scotland. It was founded in 1696.[2] The institution is a non-denominational one. The school occupies ground on the side of a hill in the Viewlands area of Perth, and is within the Perth and Kinross Council area.

Perth Academy
Badge put on sports wear i-e -Rugby shirt,hockey shirt,football shirt 2014-06-26 20-45.jpg
Badge of Perth Academy Sports Teams
Murray Place

, ,

School typeState school, High School
StatusCurrently Active
Local authorityPerth and Kinross Council
Number of pupils960[1] (as of September 2016)
Education systemSecondary education
Hours in school day6.5 not including after school activities
Colour(s)Blue and White
Feeder schools[1] Balbeggie Primary, Collace Primary, Goodlyburn Primary, Guildtown Primary, Letham Primary, Robert Douglas Memorial School, Viewlands Primary, Our Lady’s Primary School


The old Academy building, situated just over two miles to the northeast of today's structure

While able to claim a strong connection to the Perth Grammar School founded in the twelfth century, the name Perth Academy first appears in 1542 when it was founded by the town council, still making Perth Academy one of the oldest schools in Scotland.[3] The first Rector of the school was the Honourable John Murray (later Duke of Atholl); at this time it was considered a purely honourable title, before later being given to the head teacher of the school. By April 1762 accommodation was first provided for the school, in the form of a two-storey building which occupied the site of the current city hall.

At this time education in Perth was provided by a variety of smaller institutions each specialising in a particular field. By the 1800s it was felt that the disparate nature of these, often cramped, buildings was detrimental to the efficiency and success of the schools. This, combined with a new appreciation of the value of education, led to a new building being built to house the different schools. Designed by Robert Reid, later the King's architect, work on this building was started in October 1803, and finished for the start of the teaching year in 1807.[4] The building housed the Academy (at the time specialising mostly in Maths and the sciences), the Grammar (specialising in mostly Classics, History and Philosophy), the English School, the French school, the Drawing and Painting school, and the Writing school. Together they were known as the public Seminaries, and were housed on Rose Terrace, near the North Inch of Perth.

John Rhind's Britannia and the clock on the old Academy building in Rose Terrace

This arrangement was continued until 1892, when, under the terms of the 1878 Education Act, control of the schools was transferred from the council to the newly created school board. At this point the term Seminaries was no longer used and the institution began to be officially termed Perth Academy, with the other schools being termed as departments within the school in the 1873 prospectus. Teachers were still paid separately and collected their share of the tuition fees directly from the students in their classes. In 1881 that this was changed, with the fees going into a central treasury before being redistributed.

In 1915 the Academy was amalgamated with the rival Sharp's institution, also located in Perth, leading to a decrease in the fees paid by students.[5]

The school moved to its present site at Viewlands in 1932, construction on the building having begun in 1930. The buildings were designed by the Edinburgh architects, and school specialists, Reid & Forbes, one of their late classical works.

Up to 1968 the school was a selective senior secondary school with entrants being required to sit an entrance exam. At this time the schools had a large catchment area of over 642 square miles and including Dunkeld, Kinross, Errol, and Methven. In 1971 the school become a comprehensive school serving all pupils within a smaller catchment area.

Large extensions were added to the school in 1990, including a separate building for a Gymnasium and Games Hall, as well as workshops and an Art studio. The science labs were also renovated at this time with computing rooms being added and suites created for the music and business departments.[6]

Grounds and facilitiesEdit

Perth Academy and playing fields

Perth Academy is situated in the middle of extensive grounds, stretching to some 11.93Ha, a large part of which comprises sports pitches. The campus is shared with Viewlands Primary School, with many students attending both during their education, and Fairview School, an additional support needs school.[7] The main building for Perth Academy holds all the schools classrooms across two floors, including several science labs, computer rooms, carpentry and metal working rooms, and kitchens for the teaching of cookery. The school canteen is in a separate, smaller building which outside lunch times also serves as a gym room and holds a suite of exercise equipment such as treadmills. There is also a separate block housing the Physical Education department which includes two indoor areas for gym and sports activities. A map of the world has also been painted on the playground as a part of the World at your Feet project run by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society aimed at encouraging the education of school children in geography.[8] In 2014 construction started on a new all-weather pitch, despite resistance from many of the pupils, as the construction meant the removal and destruction of a Scots Pine tree, older than the school itself.[9] The pitch was finished in time for the start of the 2014/15 Summer Term, fully kitted out with football and hockey goals and painted with appropriate pitch lines.


The school follows the national curriculum for Scotland, including the teaching of cooking and technical subjects. In line with Scottish Parliament education policy the school is moving to the new Curriculum for Excellence.

As well as the subjects taught within the school, Perth Academy has established links with other education establishments in Perth including Perth High School and Perth College.[10] These links allow the school to indirectly offer courses outwith its usual capacity to teach.

Extracurricular activitiesEdit

The school provides a wide range of activities for students and was praised by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education for the development of young people through these activities.[11]

The school regularly fields teams for, and hosts, events including hockey and rugby,[12] as well as competing in athletics at county sport level.[13] The school also tries to help develop skills in the pupils as team leaders through activities such as a Sports Leader course and by giving pupils the chance to help lead sports sessions at the neighbouring Viewlands Primary and Fairview schools. There is also netball, table tennis,basketball, badminton, gymnastics, a cheerleading squad and dancing.[14] The school also runs an award-winning "school of rugby"programme for S1 & S2 pupils. This initiative is jointly funded by the School, Perthshire RFC and Scottish Rugby Union, utilising the "cash back for communities fund"

Awards and recognitionEdit

Perth Academy was awarded the silver award in January 2006 for its participation in activities relating to Eco-Schools Scotland. The silver flag award is the middle award between bronze and green. In order to obtain the silver flag award, Perth Academy had to use their initiative to involve some students in activities relating to the following categories: Litter, Energy, Health and well-being, Transport, Waste Minimisation, Biodiversity, School Grounds, Water, Sustaining our world and lastly food and the environment.[15]

The school was inspected by Her Majesty's inspectorate in 2010 and was rated as "satisfactory" or "good" in every category.[11]

Catchment areaEdit

The school serves a large, mostly rural, catchment area, split into three distinct areas:[6]

  • The west of Perth, served by Viewlands, Letham, and Goodlyburn Primary Schools.
  • The rural area to the north-east of the city, served by Robert Douglas Memorial school, Scone, and Balbeggie, Burrelton, Collace, and Guildtown Primary Schools.
  • A further rural area served by Arngask Primary school in Glenfarg.

Notable former pupilsEdit

Notable staffEdit

  • Edward Smart FRSE (d. 1939), maths master 1899–1915, rector 1915–1930[17]
  • William Wallace, maths master from 1794


  1. ^ a b "Perth Academy". Perth & Kinross Council. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  2. ^ Thompson, Francis Michael Longstreth (1993), The Cambridge Social History of Britain 1750-1950, Volume 3, Cambridge University Press, p. 137, ISBN 0-521-43814-4
  3. ^ "Perth Grammar School". Visit Dunkeld.
  4. ^ Brown, Denis (9 November 2010), "Iconic Old Academy building sold again", Perthshire Advertiser, retrieved 8 November 2011
  5. ^ Smart, Edward (1932), History of Perth Academy, Perth: Milne, Tannahill, & Methven, OCLC 5392035
  6. ^ a b "Perth Academy 2008" (PDF). Perth Academy.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Planning Application Report" (PDF). Perth and Kinross Council. 2 August 2006.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ McKay, Mark (21 May 2011), "Putting geography back on the map for Perthshire pupils", The Courier, D. C. Thomson, archived from the original on 1 February 2012, retrieved 8 November 2011
  9. ^ Lowson, Stephen (28 January 2014). "Pupils express concern as work gets underway on all-weather pitch at Perth Academy". Perthshire Advertiser. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Perth College School links". Perth College. Archived from the original on 3 February 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Inspection report for Perth Academy" (PDF). HMIE. 27 April 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  12. ^ Bannerman, Gordan (16 April 2010), "Perth Academy rugby sevens", Perthshire Advertiser, retrieved 8 November 2011
  13. ^ "County Sports celebrates athletic achievement in schools". Perth and Kinross Council.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Perth Academy Pupils Developing Sports". Scottish Disability Sports. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012.
  15. ^ "Location-Perth and Kinross". Eco-Schools Scotland.
  16. ^ "Lord Macgregor Mitchell". The Times (Issue 47978). London, England. 26 April 1938. p. 18. Retrieved 18 January 2016 – via The Times Digital Archive.
  17. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2018.

External linksEdit