THE four Borders based Roman Catholic primary schools will have a single headteacher in future.
Following consultation by Scottish Borders Council at the end of last year, the option of one headteacher for the four schools in Galashiels, Peebles, Selkirk and Hawick was the recommendation of the director of education, Glenn Rodger, to the council’s education committee, which approved the option when they met earlier this week.
Over the past year a group of councillors, parents and council staff have been carrying out a review of how Roman Catholic education is provided in the Borders. One of the reasons for setting up the group was the problem that the council has had in recruiting new, permanent headteachers for the two pairs of Roman Catholic Primary Schools: St Margaret’s (Galashiels) and Halyrude (Peebles); and St Margaret’s (Hawick) and St Joseph’s (Selkirk).
New headteachers have to meet the council’s standard terms of experience and expertise and have Roman Catholic approval to work in a RC school.
The council’s consultation document says: “The RC schools must be treated fairly, but they cannot be treated better than any other school in the Scottish Borders. This means that some options, such as a single headteacher for each Roman Catholic primary school, cannot be considered because no other small school in the Scottish Borders can have its own individual headteacher.”
Pupil numbers at the four Roman Catholic primary schools in the region range from 70 at Peebles to 14 at Hawick.
In recent years the council has introduced shared headships for smaller primary schools in the Borders - for example Greenlaw and Swinton now have a joint headteacher.
One option, of linking the Roman Catholic schools to a local school was ruled out as it would not get approval from the Roman Catholic Church. The only other one given consideration was the status quo of two headteachers across the four schools