There are over a dozen primary schools on Skye, well distributed around the island. Transport is provided free of charge for those pupils who live at a distance, so availability of schooling for younger children is unlikely to be a barrier in choosing where to live.

Gaelic medium education is available, but not in all schools. Pupils can be taught in English everywhere, but they will be in a minority in some schools, notably in Sleat. And in Portree there is a magnificent modern building housing Bun-Sgoil Ghaidhlig Phort Righ, the Gaelic medium nursery and primary.

The nature of the schools varies by size. Some are very small, with fewer than fifteen pupils in total. At the other extreme, Portree Primary caters for well over two hundred.

Portree High School is the only secondary school on the island. It serves around 550 pupils, most of whom travel daily by school bus. Some of these journeys are long ones. It can take an hour and a half each way for those who live in the remoter parts of Skye. That should be a consideration for anyone with children when choosing which area of Skye to make their home.

Portree High School

In 2008, a brand new £28m school was built to replace its rather tired - and very ugly - 1960s concrete predecessor. The current buildings include a library and a very fine 25m swimming pool. These facilities are open for use by the wider community as well as the pupils. At a time when many schools feel the need to exclude visitors, that seems to me to be a very positive approach to school and community alike.

Portree Community Swimming Pool

The school's academic record is good, and the extracurricular activities are numerous, varied and well supported. All children are taught Gaelic as a subject during the first two years. Those who have fluency in the language can choose to be taught other school subjects through the medium of Gaelic rather than English.

Portree High School Buses


You can find a wealth of useful information on the school website.

Sabhal Mor Ostaig

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, is a Gaelic medium college in the south of Skye. It is an iconic institution, internationally recognised as the National Centre for Gaelic language and culture.  The college offers Degree, Diploma, Distance Learning and Short Courses throughout the year.  Campus facilities include residential accommodation, child care facilities, a purpose built broadcast and recording studio, specialist library collections, conference and exhibition space.