13th December 2019
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New head teacher appointed to Foula

The school in Foula will be getting a new head teacher by the end of this year, with a long-running struggle to find someone to fill the rural post finally coming to an end.

Members of the education and families committee heard on Monday that a number of staff vacancies were being recruited to.

It comes as children’s services have forecast a £68,000 revenue underspend, with the recruitment to staff vacancies described as one of the key drivers in that.

Director Helen Budge said two attempts had been made to recruit a head teacher to Foula.

“We have now been successful, and a new head teacher will take up the post by the end of this year,” she said.

5 comments

  1. Ali Inkster

    How much easier would it be to fill the role of teacher in the smaller schools if there was no requirement for a head teachers qualification?
    It would open the job up to much more candidates and go a long way to helping them achieve a head teachers qualification and promotion to a larger school when the time comes to move on.
    Would it not make the job a very attractive proposition to young teachers with a young family wishing to boost their career prospects.
    Hell it could even be built in to the Shetland educational career pathway ensuring a constant supply of teachers for the smaller isles reduce costs and give those living in the isles with young families a degree of certainty over their children’s education they do not currently enjoy. Certainly a vast improvement on the way the education dept has treated the isles up to now.
    Or is this too much like joined up thinking for Hayfield house to contemplate?

    Reply
    • Christopher Johnston

      Ali, would it be possible to pair Foula with a larger school and have the head of the larger school administer both schools? Perhaps Walls Primary School?

      Reply
    • Jerry Edwards

      Clearly your knowledge of Scottish Teachers Conditions of Service and associated employment law are somewhat limited. Until we become the Republic of Shetland we will have to comply with what us laid down by Scottish Government and agreed with the SNCT.

      Reply
      • Ali Inkster

        Your point is taken, rules made for central belt Scotland have little relevance North of the Pentland Firth or west of the Minch. And no amount of islands plans will ever change that.
        Viva Independence for da isles

      • Christopher Johnston

        Jerry, you are correct that I have no knowledge of these bureaucratic handcuffs. I think that requiring the sole teacher in an isolated school be certified as a head teacher is ludicrous. My first cousin is a retired head teacher and tells me the head teacher job is mainly administrative, supervising teachers, and keeping peace with the board of governors. The administration could well be done at a remote site. There is only one teacher so there is no self-supervision needed. Dealing with the board of governors could be accomplished by an occasional visit.
        Surely Scottish requirements include provisions for special cases like Foula.

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