School retains second teacher

St Ninian’s Primary School in Newton Stewart will keep its second teacher following objections from parents for plans to the contrary.

It was announced this week 
that Miss Campbell, whom parents have praised for her great work in the small school, will be kept on 
after the summer term.

Parents were outraged last month upon hearing that the Catholic school roll fell to just 19, meaning it was one child short of deserving two teacher. Instead, 
pupils aged from five to 11 were to be taught by Mrs McEwan, the head teacher.

There were accusations from some parents that the council was attempting to whittle the school down to such a low roll that it was not viable to keep it open.

However, council education chiefs said a month ago the situation was simple: non-Catholic 
pupils had spaces available at 
nearby primaries and there was no responsibility by the authority to find them a space at St Ninian’s.

But since then two pupils have been accepted onto the roll, meaning the school will stay as a two-teacher facility.

One parent said this week: “We’re thrilled to hear this news. It is a big boost for us as we were really beginning to fear for the educational standards of the school. The head is great – no-one is questioning that – but it would have been a lot of pupils to cater for on her own, and they were talking about a difference of just one child.

“Hopefully, the school can continue to go from strength to strength like it already has recently.”

The school had a received poor HMIe report in 2011 but inspectors were full of praise when they returned for a follow-up before Christmas.

The report stated: “Children are noticeably enjoying their learning more,” and “Staff are now feeling well supported. They are committed to school improvement and are confident that under her leadership and direction, the school will continue to improve.”