Emma Seith

The ‘12-year old headteacher’ saving her school

Is youth any barrier to leading a school? Emma Seith meets the woman known locally as ‘the 12-year-old headteacher’ who, after just four years of teaching, stepped up to help turn around the performance of her primary

Meet the '12-year-old' headteacher

At the age of 25, Emma Turnbull, who had been teaching for just four years, applied to become the headteacher of the primary school in which she was then working. She did not hold out much hope of being appointed, but she loved the school and, having worked closely with the head for two years, had developed a clear vision of how to improve it.

At Boddam School, near Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, there was also no career ladder to climb, other than making the jump to headteacher. With a roll of just 130 pupils, there were no principal teacher or depute head posts.

“I wasn’t even expecting ...

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