Lendrick Muir School

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Lendrick Muir School was a Scottish residential school for maladjusted children of above average intelligence, aged 11–19 (originally 7-18) or latterly children with dyslexia, located on an unclassified road from Rumbling Bridge to Crook of Devon.

Pupils

Children from all over the country, and a few from other parts of the United Kingdom, attended, and all were funded by their local authorities. School refusal was a common reason for pupils being placed here, and many had psychological and behavioural problems due to familial abuse or neglect.

The school claimed not to accept pupils who were "sexually promiscuous, psychotic, habitually delinquent or seriously behaviourally disturbed".[1]

Children were expected to be able to follow an academic syllabus, leading to examinations such as Ordinary Grades, Highers or Certificate of Sixth Year Studies, set by the Scottish Examination Board.[1]

Location and environs

The school was located off Naemoor Road, an unclassified road, connecting the A823 at Rumbling Bridge with the A977 at Crook of Devon. It was about 800 metres east of Rumbling Bridge and one kilometre west of Crook of Devon, situated at latitude 56.18629 longitude -3.57635. Male pupils lived within the main school building, while female pupils were housed separately in a large detached property, 'Craigard', a few kilometres away.

Nearby villages, in addition to the two mentioned include Drum, Yetts o' Muckart and Pool of Muckhart. The school was about 500 metres south-west of the River Devon and, because the river changes direction at Crook of Devon, it was also located about 500 metres north of the River Devon. The school was about 3 kilometres south-east of the Ochil Hills.

The school was situated in 200 acres of rough estate except for the potato field leased to a local farmer. The Sports field covered 25 acres and was often grazed by the same farmer's sheep.

Sports

The School provided facilities for hockey, football, cricket and tennis. Other leisure time facilities included hill-climbing and canoeing, and various indoor pastimes.

The school had a house system for the purposes of sports competitions. To begin with there were two houses: Devons and Muirs. Later there was an Ochil House but that was discontinued after a time.

Naemoor House

The school was housed in Naemoor House, formally Naemoor School, a neo-classical mansion designed by Adam Frame of Alloa[2] which was listed in 1977,[3] and this was a continuation of Riverview Private School in Alloa, run by husband and wife team John and Janet Grieve. Shortly before it became Lendrick Muir School, William Younger, the brewer, from Alloa injected finance into it.[4]

Change in direction

In 1988, the School changed its policy on admissions and its client groups,[2] focussing on children with dyslexia. It retained this focus until its closure in 1998.

Closure

It closed in 1998, following a "damning verdict on the [...] accommodation, management and curriculum".[5] According to the Sunday Mail, among other things, "[The School] which receives more than £250,000 a year in fees has been branded unsafe, dirty and lacking in resources. [...] The inspectors' report revealed a long list of problems. They found dirty and unsafe rooms, bad teaching and a lack of books and computers, and said the dinners were poor."[6]

The head of the school, John McLaughlin, accepted these criticisms and said: "[To stay open] we would have to have put in place a whole range of things. There would be no more communal showering, individual rooms where possible, pleasant views from windows, proper systems of care, quality learning for staff, appropriate ratios."[5]

Current use

The building has been owned and run by the Scripture Union since its closure as a school in 1998, and the SU now offers residential activity breaks for young people.[7]

See also

External links

  • - Children's Hearings Website
  • - Scottish Children's Reporter Administration
  • - Archive of Lendrick Muir School

Notes

  1. ^ a b http://lendrick-muir-school.co.uk/pdf/lms-leaflet.pdf
  2. ^ a b http://www.lendrick-muir-school.co.uk/timeline.htm
  3. ^ http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/sc-15244-naemoor-house-lendrick-muir-school-muckha/map
  4. ^ e-lendrick-muir-school-muckha
  5. ^ a b http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=76112
  6. ^ "Special school in probe shame." Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland) 9 Nov. 1997: 23. InfoTrac Full Text Newspaper Database
  7. ^ http://www.suscotland.org.uk/centres/lendrick-muir
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