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Self-starter sought for isolated school

Wanted: headteacher to run the most remote school in England.

The position would suit any teacher who feels overwhelmed by large classes.

Kielder community first school has just four pupils. Surrounded by forest and 25 miles from the nearest town, it was named the most remote place in England at the 2002 Royal Show in Warwickshire.

Now the Northumberland village, with a population of approximately 200, needs a head for its local primary.

"We've got a lot of schools with that sort of number of pupils," said a spokesman for Northumberland County Council, which has placed the advert for the position.

"We have a duty to educate the pupils in our county. Do you turn a six-year-old child out of bed at 6am to then spend an hour and a half on a bus? It's not really an option."

The head's duties include all teaching and management of the school's staff: a secretary and a cook. The salary is probably one of the most favourable in Britain - up to pound;40,047 a year, approximately pound;10,000 for each child.

Northumberland believes this rate is justified. "Economic viability has to be put in line with what is best educationally for the kids," a council spokesman said.

Michael Broadbent, current head of Kielder school, believes that the unusual circumstances of his school offer a number of advantages.

"You get to know the children well - the areas where they need support or help. It's a very individual education," he said.

"But you need to be able to work without much support, and you've got to have experience of different age groups. You've got to be flexible, really."

Application forms and further information available from: 01670 533 773.

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