The number of pupils attending Bute’s four schools has fallen by more than one in eight in the last five years, according to newly-published figures.
In total, 675 pupils were enrolled at Rothesay Academy, Rothesay Primary, North Bute Primary and St Andrew’s Primary for the 2014-15 academic year, compared to 778 in 2010-11.
The decline was most pronounced at Rothesay Academy, where the pupil roll has fallen from 390 to exactly three hundred in the same five-year period - a reduction of 23.1 per cent.
By comparison, the total number of pupils attending Rothesay, St Andrew’s and North Bute this year is 375 - down from 388 five years ago, and from a peak of 401 in 2012-13, representing a five-year decline of 3.4 per cent.
The figures - in particularly those for the Academy - suggest that efforts to reverse Bute’s population decline have yet to take effect; the last UK census found that the island was home to 6,498 people in 2011, compared to 7,228 ten years previously.