Scotland's most remote school seeks new headteacher

1 month ago 15

By John Johnston
BBC Scotland

image captionHead teacher Ruth Stout is stepping down astatine the schoolhouse which presently has 3 pupils

Scotland's astir distant land superior schoolhouse - with conscionable 3 pupils - is searching for a caller caput teacher.

Fair Isle, which is halfway betwixt Orkney and Shetland, is famed for its knitwear and vertebrate observatory.

It is conscionable 3 miles agelong (4.8km) and one-and-a-half miles wide, is location to 60 people, and lone got a reliable 24-hour-a-day energy supply successful 2018.

Headteacher Ruth Stout has worked astatine the schoolhouse for 35 years, but is owed to measurement down successful October.

Shetland Islands Council said the station - with a wage of £56,787 per twelvemonth - was a unique opportunity, with applications having to beryllium successful by Sunday night.

Mrs Stout said the land - which featured successful the BBC's Fair Isle: Living connected the Edge documentary bid - is simply a large spot to unrecorded and work, but urged imaginable applicants for the occupation to cautiously see the practicalities of moving there.

She said: "It's rather a antithetic benignant of beingness to surviving successful different places. We are precise upwind dependent.

"Planes and boats are often cancelled and that tin interaction connected schoolhouse trips. You person to beryllium adaptable and flexible surviving here.

"I've been present for 35 years and we've a batch of children done the schoolhouse - we've had superior 1 to superior seven, each property and signifier successful the people astatine the aforesaid time. The children larn from each other."

media captionThe tiny land schoolhouse that needs a caller teacher

The existent pupils are nine-year-old Freyja, six-year-old Luca, and Ander, who is three.

Freyja said: "There are not galore children truthful you tin get to bash tons of antithetic things.

"And we turn tons of vegetables to person with our schoolhouse dinners."


Eileen Thomson, the parent of Luca and Ander, said the land was fortunate to person specified a bully schoolhouse and it was captious that it managed to pull the close idiosyncratic to proceed the enactment done by Mrs Stout.

The departing caput teacher said a large situation was preparing the children for secondary school, erstwhile they person to permission Fair Isle and spell to committee astatine the precocious schoolhouse successful Lerwick successful Shetland.

She said: "It's a large determination from them and they conscionable travel backmost each 3rd play and holidays.

"So a batch of our clip is spent connected schoolhouse trips to get them utilized to being successful Lerwick and utilized to the Anderson High School hostel wherever they volition spell and live."

image captionChildren person to permission Fair Isle to spell to secondary schoolhouse successful Shetland erstwhile they are aged enough

Shetland Islands Council said whoever replaces Mrs Stout would person a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Robin Calder, its enforcement manager for prime improvement, said: "This is simply a tremendous accidental for a caput teacher, oregon aspiring caput teacher, to articulation the vibrant assemblage of Fair Isle and proceed to instrumentality the schoolhouse forward.

"It offers a fantastic accidental for immoderate educationalist to make some professionally and personally."

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