School seeks new head teacher – or ‘leader’ if not Catholic

East Lothian primary school offers alternative post of 'leader of learning'.

St Martin's has struggled to find a new head teacher. <strong>SWNS</strong>
St Martin's has struggled to find a new head teacher. SWNS

A Catholic primary school looking for a head teacher has widened its search to non-Catholics – but will only give the full job title to those baptised in the faith.

St Martin’s RC Primary School in Tranent, East Lothian, has taken the “unprecedented” move after three attempts to recruit a headteacher.

But any successful candidate for the £52,725-a-year job who is not a member of the Catholic church will not be allowed to take on the title of “head teacher”.

Instead, they would be called a “leader of learning”.

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A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said: “East Lothian Council was unable to appoint a suitable candidate during multiple campaigns to recruit a new head teacher for St Martin’s RC Primary School.

“Therefore, due to this unique and unprecedented situation for East Lothian, our education service is working in partnership with the Diocese to secure a new head teacher for the school and to introduce this new post, leader of learning, if required.

“We remain committed to retaining St Martin’s RC Primary at the heart of the Catholic community.”

The school, which has 180 pupils, has been without a permanent head teacher for a year.

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All other RC primary schools in the local authority area currently have Catholic head teachers.

The job is advertised under two separate titles on the same advert, with an identical role description beneath each.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said the “leader of learning” title had been used in other Scottish council areas in the past.

He said: “The Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh has been working with East Lothian Council to resolve the recruitment issue at St Martin’s RC Primary and still hopes that a suitable candidate can be found.

“Should no suitable candidate apply, consideration will be given to candidates for the post of ‘leader of learning.

“That post would have responsibility for the management of the curriculum and be supported by a designated member of staff, who has additional responsibility to lead the faith dimension of the school community.”

A spokesman for teaching union the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) said: “While the EIS wouldn’t wish to comment in relation to an individual school or post, we are clear that all teachers should be treated fairly when applying for any post and that all appointments must comply with current legislation, including all relevant equality legislation.

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“The key issue for any post is not the title, but the remit.”


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