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Former Alness Academy head teacher takes on top education post for Highland Council


By Hector MacKenzie

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Nicky Grant.
Nicky Grant.

A FORMER Easter Ross secondary school head teacher has been appointed to a top education post within Highland Council.

Nicky Grant has been appointed by the local authority as interim executive chief officer for education and learning.

It follows the departure of Paul Senior who was appointed in May and helped prepare for schools to reopen following lockdown.

His salary, the equivalent of £936 a day, prompted questions from councillors and a backlash from the public.

Ms Grant, a previous head teacher at Alness Academy, takes up the position with immediate effect.

She took up her current position as interim head of education in October last year. She had been head teacher of Alness Academy since December 2018.

She was previously depute head teacher at Elgin High School with Moray Council since 2016, and before that was depute head at Kemnay Academy, Aberdeenshire.

Her principal subject was physical education which she previously taught at schools in West Lothian. Prior to this she was a professional footballer, playing for Arsenal and Frankfurt among others, and was capped 98 times for her country.

She said: “My passion and commitment for improving outcomes for all children and young people in the Highlands is what motivates all of my decisions, plans and actions. Effective partnership working within and across the council sectors, and beyond, is key to achieving sustainable growth and maintain an upward performance trajectory.”

She said: “I’m privileged to have the opportunity to work with such driven and talented staff; to connect communities and develop sustainable partnerships with the progress of our young people at the heart of all we do.”

Cllr John Finlayson, education committee chairman, said: "I am delighted to announce that Nicky Grant will be stepping up to this interim ECO role at a time when the education and learning service is showing a good improvement in raising pupil attainment in Highland schools following the recent exam results.”

He added: “As head of service, Nicky has contributed to the transformation which is taking place in the service and I welcome working with Nicky on the service and council transformation journey to sustain continued improvement for all pupils in Highlands.”

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