Scottish school leadership: the head in charge of six primaries

Amid dwindling school rolls and the unique economic pressures of island life, the Isle of Arran has torn up its school leadership model and given the headship of half-a-dozen primaries to one person. Emma Seith pays a visit and finds that the move, prompted by a bid to stave off school closures, is working out well – at least when the snow doesn’t get too heavy

Arran school leadership

The journey to Brodick Primary School on the Isle of Arran hugs the coastline, squeezing past shops and hotels on the sinuous high street, as well as the numerous imposing houses that overlook the Firth of Clyde. Many gardens have palm trees – even the local Co-op has some in the car park – which is an incongruous sight at this time of the year, given that the island is covered in snow.

There were snow showers all last night, and headteacher Shirley MacLachlan had a nail-biting journey this morning up and down “The String” – the road that links the west and east of an island that is ...

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