Secondary pupils get ready to move to the Barony Campus in October

The Barony Campus in Cumnock, Scotland’s most innovative, ambitious and inclusive learning facility will welcome the young people of The Robert Burns Academy this October.

The Campus, which is being built by Morrison Construction, will be officially handed over to the Council on Friday 9 October. Young people who previously attended Auchinleck and Cumnock Academies and the secondary Supported Learning Centre, will attend their new school from Monday 26 October.

Alex McPhee, the Council’s Depute Chief Executive & Chief Financial Officer said: “A big thanks is due to Morrison Construction for the flexibility and commitment they’ve shown to deliver the Campus when we need it.

“We are now preparing for the move and our ambitious school building programme over the last few years means we have a brilliant team with a wealth of experience of transferring young people, staff and teaching resources into new schools. Although the whole campus will be completed and handed over on Friday 9 October, we are adopting a phased approach with The Robert Burns Academy moving in first on Monday 26 October, followed by Lochnorris Primary School, Hillside School and Cherry Trees Early Childhood Centre on Wednesday 18 November.

“The Scottish Government has approved exceptional closure days and all of the arrangements will reflect the most up to date guidance on the return of children and young people to school.”

Timetable for opening The Robert Burns Academy:

Thursday 8 and Friday 9 October
Exceptional closure of Auchinleck and Cumnock Academies plus the secondary Supported Learning Centre to allow for the packing of resources.
Monday 12 to Friday 16 October (school holiday)
Movement of furniture, resources and equipment.
Monday 19 to Friday 23 October
In-service day followed by exceptional closure to allow for educational set up by teaching staff.
Monday 26 October
The Robert Burns Academy opens to pupils.

Linda McAulay Griffiths, Head of Education said: “The opening of The Robert Burns Academy is just the first phase of a very complex move. All our plans have been approved by the Scottish Government, including the exceptional closure days that are necessary to ensure that the school is ready to welcome pupils on Monday 26 October.

“Arrangements are currently being made by the Head of Campus, Peter Gilchrist, for learning from home resources to be available to all pupils during the second week of the closure and extra support will be offered to pupils in the senior phase.

“A detailed programme will be issued soon including specific arrangements on timings for the first day, dining facilities, the new travel plan and transport arrangements. I understand this is an exciting but also an anxious time for parents, carers and pupils and we are here to provide support and ensure that the move to this incredible learning facility is a positive experience for everyone involved.”

Councillor Fiona Campbell, Cabinet Member for Skills and Learning said: “The Barony Campus will ensure that our children and young people will have every opportunity to achieve their full potential. The educational facilities are exceptional, utilising the very latest technology including Scotland’s first interactive and immersive video room.

“The new Campus offers an unprecedented level of sports provision, including two full sized, flood-lit synthetic pitches of world class rugby standard which are already open for school, sports club, and public use, a 400m 4-lane running track with 6 lane sprint, 2 full sized grass pitches, a 7 aside floodlit synthetic pitch and an outdoor basketball court, together with 13 indoor courts in various configurations.

“Community recreation space will include an enterprise kitchen and community café, meeting rooms, an auditorium, recording studio, music practice rooms and project space for textiles/crafts and pottery. This facility is going to be life changing for our children and young people, as well as for our communities, and is designed to help them to reach their full potential.”