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New heads for island schools

TWO of Scotland’s smallest and most remote schools have appointed new head teachers, Shetland Islands Council announced on Friday.

Rebekah Giddy takes on the headship of the country’s smallest secondary school on the tiny archipelago of Skerries, east of Shetland, where four pupils attend the secondary department alongside three in the primary section.

The school was saved from closure in December after local councillors were told it would cost the authority more to support the island community without the school if the young families currently living there left the island.

Mrs Gibby and her husband are keen sailors and have visited the islands many times. She has recently been teaching at Ross high school, in Tranent, East Lothian, and will start work on 25 October when current Skerries head Sheilagh Smith retires.

The remote Atlantic island of Foula now has a new head for its two primary and one nursery pupil.

Janette Cowie took up the post on 15 August after teaching in Qatar, in the Middle East, for the previous four years following a period as acting head at South Lanarkshire’s Gilmourton primary school.

Ms Cowie has taken over from Christine Else who spent four years on the island, which currently has a population of around 35. She has been thrown into the deep end and faces a school inspection next week.

Meanwhile Morag Fox has been promoted to become head of Scalloway primary school, where she has worked since starting her teaching career 10 years ago.

Mrs Fox was appointed principal teacher of the school’s primary department in 2005, and became acting head teacher in January this year, when the school still taught secondary pupils.

In December last year councillors voted to close Scalloway’s secondary department, the same day they agreed to keep Skerries secondary open.