Trinity Academy, Edinburgh

Trinity Academy is a state-run secondary school in the north of Edinburgh, Scotland. It is located on the border between Trinity and Leith, next to Victoria Park, and a short distance from the banks of the Firth of Forth at Newhaven.

Trinity Academy
The Trinity Academy complex, showing the original building (left) and the new extension block (far right)
Craighall Avenue


Coordinates55.97638°N 3.19542°W / 55.97638; -3.19542
TypeNon-demonational state-funded secondary school
Local authorityCity of Edinburgh Council
Head TeacherBryan Paterson
Age11 to 18


Trinity Academy was formerly a Senior Secondary school, prior to the abolition of the selective Qualifying exam, which was normally taken in Primary 7 at age 12 years. It is fed from three main primary schools; Trinity Primary (which is immediately adjacent), Victoria Primary in Newhaven, and Wardie Primary in Wardie. The school colours are black and yellow.


Craighall Road School

The school was designed in 1891 by George Craig, a Leith architect for Leith school Board.[2]

On 4 September 1893, Craighall Road School was opened with Thomas Trotter, formerly of North Fort Street, as rector. With a frontage deemed ‘of a superior kind to most other schools’ it had cost £18,850 and five shillings, (excluding the purchase of the land from the Laird of Bonnington, James Clerk-Rattray) and had electric bells and voice tubes connecting the Rector's room to the classes and gas lamps throughout.

The formal opening was carried out by Flora Stevenson on 1 February 1894. The board intended making all the elementary departments fee-paying, waiving fees only for the secondary, but a dissenting member wanted free education and complained to the Scottish Office. He pointed to friction at Leith Academy, with those paying fees looking down on those who did not. The majority prevailed and fees were paid at Trinity until the comprehensive schooling debate, three-quarters of a century later.

Trinity Academy

In 1895 the first 127 pupils were presented for Leaving Certificates in Mathematics, Arithmetic, English, French – 81 successfully. In 1901 the school became Trinity Academy under the new Rector, Thomas Duncan. The Great War claimed seventy-one former pupils and two teachers out of some three hundred who served.

The school operates a house system and the three houses are Arran, Skye and Orkney.

Second World War

Plans for a new block were again on the drawing board when the Second World War broke out. Many pupils were evacuated to Macduff on the Moray Firth until normal classes resumed in 1941. The following year Dr Albert Weir became rector. In this war Trinity lost sixty-two former pupils.

Post-war landmarks during the rectorship of Alexander Neill between 1953 and 1969 were the completion of the new secondary block in March 1962 and the removal of the primary school from the huts at Bangholm to the new school on Newhaven Road in January 1968.

Trinity’s sixth rector, William Brodie, arrived in 1969 at a time when educational tides were turning, fees were being phased out, and the days of selective schooling in the public sector were numbered.


In September 1974, Trinity Academy merged with David Kilpatrick’s to become a fully comprehensive secondary serving North and West Leith, Newhaven and Trinity. There was a split site, first with the David Kilpatrick building and then, after 1981, with the Holy Cross annexes. Declining school rolls across the city led to the possibility of closure of the school or of merger with Leith Academy.


Trinity Academy's first XV rugby team won Rugby World Team of the Month in November 2005 after an unbeaten run including away wins at Heriots, Glenalmond and Hutchison Grammar School.[3]


  • Bryan Paterson (2015–)
  • Alec Morris (2008–2015)
  • Peter Galloway C.B.E. (1983–2008)
  • William Brodie (1969–1983)
  • Alexander Neill (1953–1969)
  • Dr. Albert Weir (1942–1953)
  • James Scott (1925–1942)
  • Thomas Duncan (1901–1925)
  • Thomas Trotter (1893–1901)

Notable former pupils


  2. Edinburgh City Council, listed building summary
  3. Thomas, Huw. "Trinity Academy Rugby World Team of the Month November 5". Rugby World. Schools Rugby Team Awards. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  4. "Alexander Bennett". The Scotsman. 20 February 2003. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  5. Hardie, David (31 January 2012). "Hibs kid Sam Stanton hungry after Ibrox debut". Edinburgh Evening News. Johnston Press. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  6. "Medal awarded to Scots soldier beheaded by Japanese fetches £228k". Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  7. "Rugby". Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  8. "Roy Moller - Stereogram Recordings". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
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