Moray primary school in YouTube plea to recruit head teacher

Parents, teachers and pupils at a small Morayshire primary school have made a YouTube video to recruit a new head teacher.

West End primary school in Elgin is appealing for a new head teacher.
West End primary school in Elgin is appealing for a new head teacher.

The £48,000 teaching post at West End primary school in Elgin, Morayshire, which includes a £5,400 (excluding VAT) relocation package, was advertised for a second time today following an unsuccessful recruitment campaign in January.

The school’s current head teacher is due to retire at Easter.

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A total of six primary schools in Moray are currently without head teachers.

The ‘Join Us’ You Tube video which features positive endorsements about the school’s ethos, high academic attainment record and friendliness, has now been linked to the Moray Council online job advertisement site and the my jobscotland site.

Alex Dunbar, chair of the parent council at the school which has just under 240 pupils, said increasing pressures facing head teachers acted as a deterrent to recruitment.

“We are absolutely terrified we’ll be left with no-one to take over the school.

“The complexities facing head teachers are increasing with too many initiatives from the Scottish Government which are all very well-meaning but which create a kind of paralysis.

“People from all walks of life and political persuasion, whether they be Conservative, Labour or SNP, attend our parent council meetings but they leave that baggage outside.

Ms Dunbar added: “However we are all agreed there isn’t enough money going into education. The key challenge is the need to cut class sizes and spend more money on teachers rather than all the navel-gazing from central government.”

A spokeswoman for Moray Council said: “Given that the first advert produced only a small number of applications, the parent council have looked at a number of options as to how to positively promote their school in such a competitive market.

“The authority support their forward thinking; recognising the input of the staff, parents and pupils in their quest to find the right Head Teacher to lead their school into the future.”

David Stewart, Labour MSP for the Highlands and Islands said: “I totally support the concerns of these parents.

“Head teachers have a vital leadership role but I am aware of the problems across the Highlands and Islands in recruiting teaching staff.

“The Scottish Government has to look closely at its teaching recruitment polices which are burdened with too much change and demands.”