DURING the early 19th century, subscription schools were set up to educate children.

In Clackmannanshire between 1851 and 1862, there was a 53 per cent increase in the demand for child labour in local factories and mines making education less of a priority.

Following the introduction of the Education (Scotland) Act 1872 schooling became compulsory with the Education Act of 1918 stating that all local authorities had to provide free secondary schooling, although fee-paying schools could continue.

In 1965 comprehensive state schools were established – Alva Academy was one such school.

It was during the Victorian era that the first Academy was founded in Alva as a subscription school in the 1860s.

In 1875 a school was built on Queen Street. Around ninety years later the county architect William Higgins Henry designed a new school which was used for 40 years.

The Academy was built in the traditional 1960s style with flat roofs and varying levels, the tallest of which was the three-story section where maths and English were taught.

There was an entrance courtyard with pieces of abstract modern art to welcome staff, pupils and parents.

Its motto is Acer in Ludo Ludisque, meaning Keen in Work and Play, and a waterwheel signifying the woollen industry in the Hillfoots, was enshrined on the front of the building.

At the same time in Tillicoultry, a new school had been built at Fir Park in 1966 which was originally to be the new secondary school for the town but ultimately took pupils from the Hillfoots for first and second year following the move to comprehensive schooling.

In September 1968, Mr Douglas McKay took up the role as Rector of Alva Academy and was based in Alva. The Depute Rector Mr Snadden was in charge of the Fir Park annex.

In 1980 a new swimming pool and sports complex was built and two years later a new block was built to accommodate more pupils as the school expanded. However, the school still utilised huts on the western side over-looking the Johnstone Park and it was not until 1990 that these were replaced by another new building which also meant the then first year pupils attending the Fir Park Annex could now be accommodated in Alva. By this time there were approximately 1300 pupils at the school.

Abandoned in 2009 following the construction of a modern school on the outskirts of the town, the academy fell into disrepair and was demolished in 2010. The whole 5.23 acre site is currently being developed with social housing.