Harris Academy

Harris Academy, Dundee
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Harris Academy, Dundee

A large secondary school in Dundee, the Harris Academy lies 1½ miles (2.5 km) west southwest of the city centre. The school was established in Park Place in 1885, moving to its current site on Perth Road in 1931. The school was named after Baillie William Harris, who gave the Dundee School Board £10,000 for its foundation. Harris' motives were rather more focused on maintaining the independence of the High School than spreading the benefits of education. However, more than 1000 pupils enrolled on the first day the school opened, exceeding the planned numbers and immediately requiring additional accommodation. The Perth Road building was the result of a competition-winning design by Donald Ross of Thoms & Wilkie in 1926. This comprises a squashed hexagon, with a central hall connecting the entrance with the rear, creating two inner courtyards. Crawford Lodge, to the west of the school, was purchased by the Dundee Town Council in 1946 as an annexe. The Harris incorporated both primary and secondary departments until the former was closed in the late-1950s. Despite this but exacerbated by Crawford Lodge burning to the ground in 1958, overcrowding continued, and a multi-storey extension was added to the west in 1967, incorporating a sports hall, swimming pool, dining hall, library and additional classroom accommodation. By the late 1970s, the Harris Academy was one of the largest secondary schools in Scotland, with an Annexe in the former Logie School on Blackness Road, and a catchment which brought pupils in on buses from W Angus and E Perth & Kinross. The Logie Annexe was destroyed by fire in 2001.

The school now has a roll of 904 (2015). The pupils are divided into four houses; Birnam, Cawdor, Forres and Kinloch. The first three inspired by Shakespeare's Macbeth, the last from Dundee's first Member of Parliament George Kinloch. Notable former pupils include politicians Bruce Millan (1927 - 2013) and George Galloway (b.1954), and advocate Donald Findlay (b.1951).

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