WOODMILL High School teachers are “running on empty”.

That’s the view of Wilma Pirie, president of Fife EIS (Educational Institute of Scotland), who has raised concerns over the high stress levels members are experiencing following the aftermath of the devastating blaze that shut the school on August 25.

The union has praised management and education chiefs for the support they have given staff but there are concerns teachers are suffering from a burnout because of the “extraordinary circumstance”.

Woodmill’s 1,400 students are currently being accommodated across six sites around West Fife.

Pupils have been split by school year with teachers and support staff following them to the host buildings – operating as a solo Woodmill unit to keep the school’s identity.

At first, students were being taught just three subjects a day and some are still following that timetable arrangement with teachers travelling between sites to deliver lessons.

Fife EIS say they are keeping a close eye on the situation and have stressed that teachers can only operate in this manner for the short term before it turns into a “worrying situation.”

Wilma told the Press: “The management and education service have tried to do as much as they can to mitigate the level of stress but by the very nature of Woodmill staff having to go to different sites to teach, stress levels are very high.

“We as a union are very mindful of that and in October we’re actually holding a session on stress reduction.

“A lot of teachers are running on empty.

“It is an extraordinary circumstance and in the short term, members are being very accommodating but there has to be more of a measured plan in the long term.

“If people are feeling stressed and anxious now we are aware there has to be a real effort to sort out the timetable.

“Teachers need breaks and it could quickly turn into a worrying situation.”

Some teachers aren’t getting sufficient breaks or even time to eat lunch because they’re on a strict time limit to get to another site for their next lesson.

Fife EIS have also raised concerns over the DAS (Department for Additional Support) unit, currently being accommodated at Blairhall Primary, which does not have a staffroom or an area where teachers can work to plan lessons.

Although the union has been meeting regularly with members across the different sites, they will be holding a meeting with all members across the school this week and will be taking note of their concerns.

Wilma, who is a teacher at St Columba’s High, has seen first-hand the outstanding spirit displayed by teachers despite being faced with challenging circumstances.

She added: “I have to say that if there have been concerns raised, management is endeavouring to deal with them.

“But the members, in my opinion, have been resilient and resourceful.

“Some of them have lost 20 years’ worth of teaching resources so it’s going to be difficult and there is going to be pressure trying to find things to have to hand.

“But they are professional and they are resilient.

“All staff are pulling together to look after the best interests of the kids.

“I am proud but I’m not surprised by their professionalism.

“I hope in a couple of months’ time I’m able to tell the Press that everyone’s timetables have been sorted out because staff are entitled to breaks and time to plan. I hope we’ll see that all that sorted but I’m not sure, I have to say.

“I think there is a reluctance amongst some staff to voice just how stressed they are feeling.

“There is counselling on offer. The council are doing all they can to help.”