The Scottish Government has ordered a report amid allegations from three families which cover a range of concerns, including a lack of care and poor educational support.

Following the allegations, HM Inspectorate of Education will now visit the learning support unit at Portree High School, on Skye.

Complaints have also been made that Highland Council, which runs the school, has failed in its duty to provide education for the three pupils under the 1980 Education (Scotland) Act.

Action was taken after the families approached the Govan Law Centre, in Glasgow, which has a unit dedicated to education cases.

Solicitor Iain Nisbet felt the nature of the complaints was such that they should be referred to the Scottish Government.

Last night, he welcomed the action taken by ministers. “The legislation allows Scottish ministers to investigate and intervene in cases where there has been any breach of education law,” he said.

“Because we had been approached by a number of parents from the same school, we felt it was appropriate to alert the Scottish Government to these ongoing concerns.

“I am very pleased to see the prompt and effective response of the government and will await the report by HMIE with interest.”

Parents of pupils who attend the unit also welcomed the intervention.

Neil and Shonagh Strachan, from Portree, whose 15-year-old daughter Rhona attends the unit, said they hoped it would lead to “dramatic improvements”.

Rhona has significant additional support needs arising from medical difficulties experienced at birth, including epilepsy, ADHD and a significant learning difficulty.

Her family said they became alarmed after she was instructed to take part in frequent sessions of physical activity, which had a detrimental impact on her health.

“Rhona’s health, mood and behaviour deteriorated markedly over a year at Portree High School and we feared she had become gravely ill,” said Mr Strachan.

“We sought medical intervention to try to determine the cause of her decline, but only after requesting an up-to-date school diary did we discover Rhona was taking part in 18 periods of physical activity every week, despite medical recommendations that it be greatly reduced.

“This excessive physical activity was attributed to being the cause of the difficulties with Rhona’s mental and physical wellbeing.”

Mr Strachan said he was pleased HMIE would now be visiting the unit.

“It has been a great strain on us for the past two years and hopefully something will now be done to improve the way the unit is run,” he said.

A separate complaint was made by the parents of Mairi Burns, a 16-year-old pupil at the unit who has severe autism and learning difficulties.

Because of the nature of Mairi’s needs, close communication was identified as being required between home and school to prepare her for any sudden changes to her routine, which can cause her extreme distress. However, the family claims this did not happen.

In a third case, an allegation was made that a male pupil was left to soil himself and then changed in a play area that was not designed for this purpose.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “Ministers have asked HMIE to visit Portree High School special needs unit following concerns raised through the Govan Law Centre.

“HMIE will report back to the Scottish Government by the end of November, when consideration will be given to whether any further action, if required, should be taken.”

The council said: “Highland’s schools work closely with HMIE to assure the quality of learning and teaching and support to pupils and this visit will build on the activity that’s been taking place in Portree High School regarding support for learning.”