KEIL School's illustrious history began in the 1890s with a local family's idea to set up a trust for ''deserving Highland lads'' called the Mackinnon Macneill Fund, writes Vicky Collins.

Sir William Mackinnon and his nephew Duncan Macneill saw their plan come to fruition in 1915, when the school's predecessor, Kintyre Technical School, opened at Keil House, Southend, on the Mull of Kintyre.

James Mason was appointed as headmaster, a post which he held until 1950, and during this time the pupil numbers rose from 18 boys to more than 100.

He also oversaw the removal of the school from Keil House to Helenslee, Dumbarton, when the original site was destroyed by fire in the winter of 1924, when the present name of Keil School was adopted.

The school's sporting achievements began in 1929 when it scored a record medal haul at the Scottish Schools National Championships.

This success continued after the Second World War when the 1st XV rugby team became the leading team in the West of Scotland in 1950.

During the war, which claimed the lives of 19 of the school's old boys, the pupils were evacuated to the home of the Mackinnon family at Balinaskill House, Clachan.

The school returned to Dumbarton in 1946, shortly afterwards introducing a class for 12-year-old boys. This, with the first day boy admissions 10 years later, added to the school's roll, and over the next two decades the number of pupils rose to 179.

Keil's reputation for the arts began to develop in 1970 when the senior choir was awarded a first class certificate at the Glasgow Music Festival. At the end of the decade, the BBC filmed the drama series, MacKenzie, at the school.

Real changes to the school structure occurred in 1978 when the first girl pupil, Katie Widdowson was enrolled, and this was extended the following year when the Scottish Education Department granted permission for the school to enroll up to 12 other girls in the fifth and sixth years.

The school became fully co-educational in 1989, although it was not until 1997 that Sera Ozmus was appointed the school's first female senior chief or head girl.