Kilsyth Academy is situated on a prominent hilltop overlooking the valley of Kilsyth, near Glasgow. It was designed by Basil Spence in the 1930s when he was a partner at the Edinburgh-based practice Rowand Anderson & Paul & Partners. Construction started in May 1939 but had to be stopped after the outbreak of war.

The building work re-started in 1946 when Spence’s own practice Basil Spence & Partners continued with the project to an amended design. By this time new government regulations had come into effect that had an impact on how schools were built. The Education Act of 1944 had also been passed, dictating that schoolchildren had to stay at school until the age of 15. This meant that a larger building was required. Further regulations stated that each class had to have a classroom of its own. Current thinking also made it highly desirable to have separate gymnastic halls for girls and boys and a swimming pool.

Kilsyth Academy finally opened in 1954. The extended length of the contract resulted in an interesting blend of styles, including an Art Deco clock tower which features a relief sculpture representing education by sculptor Thomas Whalen.