New heads ready to face changes

Campbell Wilson (new head at Peebles High),
Campbell Wilson (new head at Peebles High),

TESTING times lie ahead for education in Scotland according to the man who has taken over as head of the largest secondary school in the Borders, writes Bob Burgess.

Campbell Wilson has moved from his post as deputy head at Dumfries Academy to become Rector of the 1,200-pupil Peebles High School – the only secondary school in Peeblesshire.

Alyson Weir (new head at Tweedbank PS)

Alyson Weir (new head at Tweedbank PS)

And the latest teacher to take over a primary school in the Borders has admitted that the Scottish Government’s Curriculum for Excellence needs to be built on.

Acting head at Tweedbank since October, Alyson Weir has now had her position at the 200-pupil school confirmed.

Mr Wilson was the number two at Dumfries for five years and replaces John Brown who retired earlier this year. After his first two weeks in the post he described Peebles High School as vibrant and purposeful.

But he admitted education was facing problems.

He stressed: “Many challenges face all Scottish schools over the next few years. Developing and implementing an exciting and new curriculum in the climate of tight budget restraints puts very real demands on the knowledge, skills and professionalism of all staff in the school.”

But he pledged: “I will work closely with staff to ensure that the plans already in place are delivered effectively, and developed where necessary, to ensure the school moves forward towards offering an excellent education for all.”

And at Tweedbank, the new head commented: “Curriculum for Excellence is still fairly new and consequently needs further development if we want to share and embed the good practice in school.

“Tweedbank is poised to go far and move forward in offering an excellent education for all children in an environment where they are happy, challenged and supported to do their very best.”

Ms Weir added: “We are fortunate to have an outstanding newly refurbished and extended building; skilled, hard working staff; a hugely supportive parent council; and best of all – interested and motivated pupils. The school is a busy, welcoming and vibrant place with children at the heart of things.”

Acting director of education with Scottish Borders Council Yvonne McCracken, said the task of selecting a rector as a replacement for John Brown at Peebles had not been easy, but added: “The selection panel was very impressed with Mr Wilson’s enthusiasm and professionalism, and the senior education team at the council looks forward to working closely with him over the coming months and years.”

And of the Tweedbank appointed she commented: “The senior education team has worked closely with Ms Weir in her role as acting head teacher and we know what an important asset she is to Tweedbank Primary School. We have no doubt she will carry on the excellent work we have already seen, which will be to the benefit of pupils, staff parents and the wider community.”

Prior to moving to the Borders the new Tweedbank head worked at a number of schools in West Yorkshire.