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New chapter for schools

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By Fiona Reid
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New chapter for schools

A NEW era of schooling commenced in Lockerbie on Tuesday.

It was back to school for the town’s nursery, primary and secondary pupils, but they returned to a new set up.

For the first time Lockerbie Academy, Primary, Learning Centre and Nursery will all be under the management of just one head teacher.

The 2-18 campus will be trialled for a 23 month period and then, if successful, it will become the new norm for Lockerbie.

Brian Asher, Lockerbie Academy’s rector, is the man in charge of the school site.

He said: “Now that we are operating as a 2-18 campus, we have opportunities to liaise more flexibly across the campus in terms of staff and space which we hope in time, will bring benefits to all pupils.”

Last year Lockerbie Primary’s P1 intake was 62 pupils – the highest in the region and the building’s staff room and library had to be converted into extra classrooms, following growing need to expand the Learning Centre, which is housed within the primary.

But Mr Asher hopes the one campus ethos will ease classroom space dilemmas going forward.

He said: “This year we have 34 enrolled for P1, which is much more usual than last year’s exceptionally high 62 for P1.

“There has been close working over the past year with the authority, Parent Council and school managers to work towards restoring the original intended use of school rooms.”

And Lockerbie Academy is still a firm favourite for students from across Annandale, including outwith the catchment area.

Mr Asher said: “The roll in secondary continues to rise, year on year, due in part no doubt, to the excellent work done in partnership between staff, pupils and parents which has produced record SQA exam results.

“I am confident that the future looks bright for pupils in Lockerbie.”

Meanwhile in Moffat, after nine years as Academy head teacher, Lesley Watson has taken a secondment within Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Taking over as acting headteacher for the primary and secondary is Andrea Macfarlane.

She said: “I am delighted to take on the role of Head Teacher at Moffat Academy and Beattock Primary and look forward to working with our young people, their families and the wider community over the coming years.  Both schools are fantastic with great staff; it will be a pleasure to lead them forward.”

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