Page last updated at 07:11 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 08:11 UK

Protestant leads Catholic schools

Morag McCreadie
The appointment of Morag McCredie is a first for Scotland

In a Scottish first, a non-Catholic has been appointed to lead Catholic primary schools in Selkirk and Hawick.

Morag McCreadie, a Church of Scotland member, has been appointed head of St Joseph's in Selkirk and St Margaret's in Hawick.

But she will be known as "manager of learning" rather than head teacher.

Ms McCreadie will be supported by a principal teacher at each primary, who will be responsible for the Catholic dimension of the schools.

The current head teacher of the two Catholic primary schools, Rosemary Andrew, retires on Friday.

She was also head of Drumlanrig and Roberton schools.

Temporary measure

The national shortage of head teachers is even worse for Catholic schools, because prospective heads have to satisfy the Church over their suitability to lead pupils of that faith.

Morag McCreadie, a member of Hawick's Teviot Parish Church, was appointed with the blessing of the leader of Scotland's Catholics, Cardinal Keith O'Brien.

After talks between senior church figures and Scottish Borders Council, it was agreed that Ms McCreadie would be called manager of learning, rather than head teacher.

Her appointment is also being described as a temporary measure, for one year.

But it will ease staffing problems, exemplified by the fact that Ms McCreadie will be St Margaret's fourth head in three years.

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