Highland School closures: Nairn schools closed

November 29, 2010 · Filed Under Education, Nairn, Weather 

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UPDATE: The PIN system no longer appears to be working – instead, simply visit the Highland Council website on school closures here for more information: http://www.schoolclosures.highlandschools.org.uk/

Millbank School and Nairn Academy are both confirmed closed today, so I presume Rosebank will also be closed.

There’s been no information on the Highland Council website since at least yesterday afternoon, when the page on school closures was no longer working for the Nairn area.

The Highland Council website has also now crashed.

However, pupils should be received a letter about a school closures phone number with a school PIN number which if called confirms both schools closed: 0870 054 6999

In the meantime, considering the millions the Highland Council spends on IT, it is rather incredible that Fujitsu, whom I believe deal with the contract, cannot even keep the website up during a surge in traffic.

There are various ways to solve this problem, and the HC should have strong words with Fujitsu about why the company is unable to ensure service information is easily available during peak demand. Certainly it’s something even my company has had to solve in the past.

Another argument for the HC to be able to consider local contractors for IT services, no doubt. :)

UPDATE: If you want to know whether your local school is open or closed, call the following number: 0870 054 6999
And then enter the school PIN – although the Highland Council website is down, there’s a Google cache of the PIN numbers for all Highland schools here.


15 Responses to “Highland School closures: Nairn schools closed”

  1. Greg on November 29th, 2010 11:08 am

    I can’t believe the Nairn schools are closed, if I was a working parent with school age children I’d be furious. Even if you accept that conditions are not great on the roads (although I’ve already made a return trip to Cradlehall on the back road perfectly safely) there must be enough pupils and staff living within walking distance to make it worthwhile to open for business as usual.

  2. Brian Turner on November 29th, 2010 11:21 am

    [Looks outside] Yep, the weather is still pretty bad, and it seems ill-advised to drive unless absolutely necessary.

    Not at all furious, consider it a safety-first decision that makes sense. :)

  3. Anon on November 29th, 2010 1:49 pm

    Highland News is reporting the Council & UHI sites down due to a flood in a building in Inverness:

    ‘A flood at a building in Inverness housing computer servers has brought down a website used by Highland Council to provide information on school closures and the prospective University of the Highlands and Islands’ website has also been affected.’

    Will be interesting to see if this building has any part in the update Brian mentions. Doubly interesing perhaps will be to see how good their back up operation and recovery is – assuming they have one, which they surely will?

  4. Anon on November 29th, 2010 1:50 pm
  5. Brian Turner on November 29th, 2010 2:25 pm

    Surprised the HC are hosting their own servers on site – that means they not only have basic server costs, but also support staff and datacentre maintenance costs as well.

    Would have thought it would be far cheaper to outsource the hosting, not least as dedicated datacentres invest heavily in redundancy.

    Especially where they can offer cloud computing which offers protection against precisely this sort of incident.

    Thanks for the link, though. :)

  6. Cathy on November 29th, 2010 2:26 pm

    Let’s hope that they get this site up and running soon since we all need access to the very large numbers of documents that the Council has produced along with the HwLDP in order to continue compiling my response to it

  7. anon on November 29th, 2010 3:20 pm

    Looks like the back-up plan is to put documents up on Google :-)

    “In the mean time we have made the Highland wide Local Development Plan – Proposed Plan and Highland Green Networks: Draft Supplementary Guidance available through “Google Documents” on the link below (no sign in required):”


  8. Cathy on November 29th, 2010 4:54 pm


    Just found this on the HwLDP blog too but it will take them a while to put up the related docs. However there are numberous other items as well which need to be accessed like all relevant committee reports or docs related to the A96 Corridor etc

  9. Anon on November 29th, 2010 5:48 pm

    They’re still down 17.46. I wonder if their intranet was broken too? Any council tax collected today? A 600 million pound per year outfit seems to be in a poor state because of a flood. They’ll have to come up with more information on how this happened.

  10. carling on November 29th, 2010 6:56 pm

    is st columus close d

  11. Anon on November 29th, 2010 6:58 pm

    Nairn Academy down too – on the same soaking server?

    A double whammy for any parents seeking info?

  12. Brian Turner on November 29th, 2010 7:05 pm

    Looks like the HC have all their sites hosted on the same bunch of servers in the same room.

    Someone should definitely tell the HC about cloud computing. :)

    And not let Fujitsu charge silly prices for supplying it, because there are plenty of very cost-effective providers out there.

  13. Brian Turner on November 29th, 2010 10:01 pm

    There’s no information as to whether the schools will be open tomorrow – however, I’ve updated the original post to include the contact telephone number and link to a Google cache of the different school PIN numbers to add after calling.

  14. Cathy on November 30th, 2010 8:33 am

    main council web site back up as is HIE’s but had problem loading Nairn and Culloden Academy sites.

  15. Duncan Brown on November 30th, 2010 11:17 am

    The HC servers are stored offsite at the Inverness College. However, The college suffered a burst water pipe which results in the server roooms,the lecture theatre and some other rooms being seriously flooded.