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


Coordinates55°58′35″N 3°11′44″W / 55.97638°N 3.19542°W / 55.97638; -3.19542Coordinates: 55°58′35″N 3°11′44″W / 55.97638°N 3.19542°W / 55.97638; -3.19542
TypeNon-demonational state-funded secondary school
Local authorityCity of Edinburgh Council
RectorNick Burge
Age11 to 18
HousesArran, Orkney and Skye
Colour(s)Yellow and Black

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 was formerly a fee paying, selective senior secondary school, prior to the abolition of the Selective Qualifying Exam, which was normally taken in Primary 7 at age 11 or 12 years. It is now a non-selective, comprehensive school, and receives most of its first year pupils from three local 'feeder' primary schools; Trinity Primary (which is immediately adjacent), Victoria Primary in Newhaven, and Wardie Primary in Wardie.


Craighall Road School

The school was designed in 1891 by George Craig, a Leith architect for the 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. This part of the school has retained many of its original features and as such, is a listed building. It is the oldest state secondary school building still in use in Edinburgh.

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 the lives of 71 former pupils and two teachers out of some 300 who served.

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

In recent times the school has received attention for being used, several times, as the poster school for a national shortage of Mathematics teachers in late 2017, and for hosting a visit by former Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney MSP.

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. During WWII Trinity lost 62 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 offers a wide range of sports, making use of the sports halls in the main buildings, and the local Bangholm outdoor sports complex. Hockey and rugby feature heavily in the tradition of the school which has been home to many Scottish national junior team members over the years. For some time the school calendar has featured a sports tour, at three-year intervals. Originally just for the senior (boys) rugby teams, the senior (girls) hockey teams soon joined in to make it a mixed affair. Tours have taken past teams to locations such as Canada, Australia and South Africa, and the school has hosted teams from many more countries.

Pupils from all age groups regularly compete in district and national level competitions in both sports, with major successes in some years. In both hockey and rugby, Trinity can usually be found ahead of the local state schools and often has success over teams from the independent schools too.


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 George Heriot's, Glenalmond and Hutchison Grammar School.[3] Bangholm sports ground is also home to the Trinity Academicals Rugby Football Club.


In 2004, Trinity Academy became the first state school to win the East of Scotland Hockey Knockout Cup. More recently, the first XI girls' hockey team reached the final of the Aspire Cup in 2017 and saw a victory on their return the following year, before winning the East District plate in the same season. 2019 came with a win in the Aspire plate competition.

Celebrating Achievement

The school has been home to many pupils who have gone on to achieve successes in various sports, competing regionally, nationally and internationally in sports such as hockey, rugby, football, rowing, sailing, tennis, badminton, cricket and martial arts. Achievement in sport has long been recognised at Trinity Academy by a 'colours' system, awarding half or full colours for different levels of achievement. Previously recognised by additional decoration to the school uniform blazer, such success is rewarded with a special tie to be worn as part of the school uniform in place of the standard school tie. Sporting talent and success is proudly celebrated in an annual Sports Personality of the Year award evening organised and hosted by pupils on the school's sports council.

In the 2018-19 school year, Trinity Academy was awarded the Sport Scotland Gold award for its sport and physical education department.

International Links

As well as international field trips and sports tours, the school has international ties built up through the Erasmus+ exchange system, with partner schools in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. It also welcomes school groups from abroad for sports matches or visits.


Notable former pupils

See also: Category:People educated at Trinity Academy, Edinburgh


  1. ^ "School level summary statistics".
  2. ^ Edinburgh City Council, listed building summary
  3. ^ Thomas, Huw. "Trinity Academy Rugby World Team of the Month 5 November". Rugby World. Schools Rugby Team Awards. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  4. ^ "School History". Trinity Academy. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Rector's Blog - 1st June 2020". Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Alexander Bennett". The Scotsman. 20 February 2003. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  7. ^ Hardie, David (31 January 2012). "Hibs kid Sam Stanton hungry after Ibrox debut". Edinburgh Evening News. Johnston Press. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Medal awarded to Scots soldier beheaded by Japanese fetches £228k". Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Rugby". 4 May 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Roy Moller - Stereogram Recordings". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  11. ^ Trinity Academy Magazine 1969. 1969.