New head sets her sights on top mark

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Carol Robbie has been confirmed as the new headteacher at Beatlie School Campus in Livingston.

The Beatlie School offers a holistic approach to the care and education of children with disabilities from nursery to secondary school, and their families within West Lothian, though a handful of students do travel from further afield.

Since graduating from the University of Stirling and Callendar Park in 1982, Carol has taught children of all ages and abilities in mainstream primary schools, with a number of family moves allowing her to experience teaching in a wide variety of establishments and locations.

Carol has a son who has followed in her footsteps and become a teacher, and a daughter who has autism and severe learning disabilities.

She said: “As my daughter does have learning disabilities it was perhaps inevitable that my career would become more specialised.”

After moving to West Lothian in 1997, Carol continued to move towards supported learning and completed a post graduate certificate in support needs (dyslexia).

She continued: “I started working for Pinewood School, which specialises in children with autism, Down’s syndrome and physical disabilities, in 2003. I stayed there for three years and then became acting depute head at Beatlie for two years, before returning to Pinewood for another year.”

Carol then came back to Beatlie as acting headteacher in 2011, and has since seen the school gather major plaudits.

She said: “Last year we were awarded eight grades of very good by the HMIe inspectors, which is indeed very good and everyone involved with the school was delighted. It will be a while before our next inspection but I’m aiming to get ‘excellent’ on that one.”

Carol says she will definitely be around for the next inspections.

She said: “I’m not going anywhere now. The children and their families are wonderful and the staff are second to none.”

As further proof she won’t be resting on her laurels, Carol is already planning for the school’s future, saying: “I want to continue to take Beatlie School forward, building on each child’s experiences, ensuring that every one of them reaches their potential.

“We get lots of support from lots of people, which is great, but I want to extend our links in the local community and raise the school’s profile. One way to do this would be to build on the fundraising work the children and their families already take in part in through the school for great causes like the Sick Kids hospital, Riding for the Disabled and Children in Need.”

Executive councillor for education Lawrence Fitzpatrick congratulated Carol on her appointment, adding: “I am confident that she will continue to be a great asset.”