Rothesay’s joint campus has a new headteacher and he has enjoyed starting his first term on the island.
Barry Wilson (36) took on the role of campus principal proper in June, after a period as acting headteacher following the departure of the previous head, Julie Fisher.
It is the Largs resident’s first headteacher role, after previous stints as depute headteacher at Dunoon Grammar School and physical education teaching roles at Dunoon and at Greenwood Academy in Edinburgh.
Born and brought up in Ayrshire, he graduated from Edinburgh University in 2003.
He commutes to Bute, though sometimes stays over on the island.
As principal he is now responsible for about 620 children and young people across the Rothesay Joint Campus, including a small pre-five group, Rothesay Primary and Rothesay Academy.
Barry told the Buteman that the support from his colleagues old and new, as well as his young family, had made the step up to principal more comfortable.
He said: “Since I started in the job in May I have been overwhelmed by the work ethic here.
“The staff want to do the absolute best they can for the pupils, there is no doubt about it.
“And the pupils are extremely eager to learn and achieve the best they can.
“I’m also very grateful to Julie Fisher, for the excellent job she did over the last two years. She has been very supportive and has made herself available at the end of a phone.”
Barry is already setting out plans to raise attainment at the school, and he recently congratulated pupils who had succeeded in their National 5 exams.
He said the main priorities of the school’s Improvement Plan were to improve communication between parents, carers and school about children’s needs and achievements, and to raise attainment ‘at all levels’, with a particular focus on literacy and numeracy.
These objectives will be tackled with funding from the Scottish government’s Pupil Equity Funding (PEF), which makes additional cash available for students who are eligible for free school meals.
The joint campus is putting some of the available money, which totals £106,800 between primary and secondary pupils, towards funding additional contact hours for classroom assistants.
PEF funding will also go towards more resources to focus on improving literacy and numeracy.