Hunt for head teacher at Tobermory moves to social media
THE hunt is on for a head teacher for Mull’s high school.
The job has been vacant for a year, despite two rounds of recruiting, after the previous head teacher, Craig Biddick, left in 2016. Now Tobermory Parent Council hopes to help Argyll and Bute Council to boost its recruitment campaign, with an appeal and welcome pack on Facebook.
‘It’s a big job,’ the parent council explains, as the head teacher oversees the island’s pre-school, primary and high schools, plus ‘the future generations of Mull and citizens of the world’.
Tobermory High School is relatively small, with 136 pupils and 20 teachers at secondary level, and 62 pupils and five teachers in the primary school, plus 22 children and two teachers in the pre-fives unit. Almost all classes are in groups of 20 of fewer.
The full-time, permanent role, assisted by two deputes and a principal teacher, pays £53,187 a year for 35 hours’ work per week.
Retired head teacher Jenny Des Fountain, head from 1995 until her retirement in 2011, is quoted on the parent council’s welcome pack as saying: ‘It’s the best job in Scottish education.’ The pack describes further incentives for applicants, saying pupils are ‘friendly, welcoming, easy to chat to; informal yet respectful’, and ‘the worst a Mull traffic jam gets is a flock of sheep or a herd of Highland cows on the road.
‘After work and at the weekends, there is a whole island to explore. Your new place of work is at the heart of this island community. While the island location is certainly attractive, being remote brings its own challenges.’
Parent council member Neil Hutton said it stepped in to help after similar parent councils on Iona, Tiree and Arran launched their own recruitment campaigns on social media.
‘We want to encourage people to think about a lifestyle change,’ he said. ‘If you are coming from a city environment there are fewer facilities; there are less choices but the choices are richer. I think it is a lovely place to live, with a strong community, and it is also a really nice school.
‘The people who work here are very committed.’
The closing date for applications is May 5.
Candidates are assured the pupils are ‘friendly, yet respectful’.