SCOTLAND’s most senior Roman Catholic has raised concerns with a proposal to install one super head to lead the Borders’ four RC primary schools, including St Joseph’s in Selkirk.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien supports the introduction of a single headteacher – as recommended in a report to be presented to Scottish Borders Council’s education committee on Tuesday – but only on a pilot basis.
Writing on behalf of Cardinal O’Brien, Brid O’Brien of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh told SBC: “The reason for this suggestion emanates mainly because of the challenges posed by the very significant distance between the four schools and the unique nature of the position.
“We are very much aware of the challenges encountered by St Margaret’s Primary School in Galashiels and Halyrude Primary School in Peebles when they previously shared a headteacher.
“The distance between Peebles and the other three schools is a particular concern.”
The report, which included a month-long consultation with staff and parents, favoured the single head option ahead of the shared headships alternative, presently used to link St Joseph’s and St Margaret’s of Hawick.
Kerry Gentleman, who was St Joseph’s parent representative on the council’s review group, admitted not everyone was in agreement as to the best way forward, but personally believes a change is needed.
She told The Wee Paper: “A shared head worked ok with St Joseph’s and St Margaret’s in Hawick, but I know the parents of Halyrude and St Margarets in Galashiels were scathing of that option. We need better leadership and hopefully a change to a single head will encourage promotion.
“There are concerns among some parents about whether we will see enough of a single headteacher, and it is yet to be seen how the logistics of the model will work.
“Ideally we would have a headteacher in each school, but that isn’t going to happen.
“But we need to get someone in quickly to boost morale and give the schools better leadership.”
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Weather for Selkirk
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
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Wind direction: North west
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