After a lifespan of just over 40 years, Rannoch School closed in 2002. It is widely accepted that this was partly the result of fewer parents wanting to send their children boarding school and partly due to the school’s extremely remote location. Founded in 1959, by three ex-Gordonstoun masters, the school’s distinctive “outward bound” ethos was based on the philosophies of Kurt Hahn (who founded Gordonstoun) and focused on the all-round development of the individual.
At the start there were 82 pupils (all boys) but, over the years, the school expanded and took in girls and had, at its peak, approximately 300 pupils of both sexes, aged from 10 to 18 years. Pupils came, not just from Scotland and England, but also much further afield, from the Middle and Far East, Europe, Africa and America.
Rannoch School was located on the southern shore of Loch Rannoch, on the Dall estate, 6 miles from the village of Kinloch Rannoch and Dall House, built in the Scots Baronial architectural style, doubled as the main school building as well as a boarding house. There were four boys’ boarding houses, one for girls and one Junior house and the school also boasted a modern sports centre, a swimming pool, a design centre and a library built by the students. The chapel was also built by students in the early years by converting an old barn.
In addition to the regular academic curriculum, Rannoch School made the very best use of the magnificent surroundings and encouraged its pupils to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. The pupils (and staff) were also very active in the community, running their own fire brigade (with assistance from the Tayside Fire Brigade), a mountain rescue service, with training by Tayside Police, a loch patrol using three power boats, as well as providing conservation and meteorological services.
On the school’s closure, the buildings and grounds were sold to a developer and some now serve as holiday let accommodation.