Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Dunfermline school fire: Exam art work salvaged intact

Olivia Barron Image copyright Jenny Barron
Image caption Olivia Barron feared her work had been destroyed in the fire

Exam art work thought to have been destroyed in a devastating fire at a Fife school has been recovered from the site undamaged.

Olivia Barron, 17, said she could not believe her Advanced Higher painting of an octopus, which she spent seven weeks completing, was unscathed in the blaze at Dunfermline's Woodmill High School.

The painting was in a desk drawer when the fire hit the school on 25 August.

A 14-year-old has been charged with wilful fire-raising to danger of life.

The Kirkcaldy teenager, who cannot be named, made no plea and was bailed on 27 August at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

The 1,400 displaced pupils have now been rehoused in nearby Fife schools.

The picture of the octopus cannot be shown until after it has been marked by examiners.

Image copyright Olivia Barron
Image caption A sea slug that Olivia painted for her Higher portfolio

Olivia, who is in her final year at the school, passed four Highers including an A in art last year and has been working on her Advanced Higher in a bid to go to university to study fashion and design.

She told the BBC Scotland news website: "The head teacher took me aside after a meeting and confirmed my painting is fine, so it's all good.

"I was so happy when he told me because it meant I hadn't wasted all that time over the summer.

"It would have been terrible if all that good work had been for nothing, so I'm so relieved it was found.

"I haven't been reunited with it yet but I'm just so happy to know it's fine."

Image copyright Olivia Barron
Image caption A porcelain bracelet that Olivia made for her Higher portfolio

The teenager is continuing her studies at neighbouring St Columba's High, following the fire.

Meanwhile a new education campus is to be built to replace the high school in Dunfermline.

The move will see Woodmill High, St Columba's High and Fife College move to a new purpose-built facility.

However, the plan means Woodmill pupils currently being taught elsewhere in Fife will have to wait until 2024 for a new school building.

The Scottish government estimates the new facility will cost between £150m and £180m.

Scottish ministers said they will invest up to £90m to fund the college portion of the campus and up to half of the cost of the new schools.

The rest of the costs will fall to Fife Council.

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