Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Row erupts amid fears Fraserburgh schools will be forced to share head teacher forever

The map shows the distance shared head teacher needs to travel between Fraserburgh and Lochpots Schools
Community members worry that a permanent shared head teacher arrangement in Fraserburgh will cause children's education to suffer in the long-term

Fraserburgh parents have warned it will be a “massive issue” if they are forced to share a head teacher permanently.

Fraserburgh North and Lochpots Primary Schools have had a joint head since January.

Aberdeenshire Council insists the arrangement is temporary – but locals say they have been told there are plans to make it permanent.

Fraserburgh North also houses a community resource hub for children with additional needs.

Locals say resources and attention shouldn’t be taken away from the school.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said officials are discussing options for the future with the community.

‘No’ to sharing

After the head teacher at Lochpots announced her retirement in December, the council appointed Fraserburgh North head teacher Sharon Mellin to serve both schools as a temporary measure.

Less than a mile separates the two schools, which are both in Fraserburgh.

There are 93 pupils at Fraserburgh North and 197 at Lochpots.

Fraserburgh North School is part of a shared head teacher arrangement with nearby Lochpots Primary.

Local Alba Party councillor Brian Topping said that local councillors were told this week that the arrangement might be made permanent.

He and fellow members Charles Buchan and Doreen Mair said they were not consulted beforehand and think Lochpots needs a new head teacher as soon as possible.

Mr Topping said that the shared arrangement would damage both schools over time.

“Children’s education will suffer in the long-term, and staff morale at Lochpots is very, very low at the moment. It’s a massive issue.”

“The whole thing is just crazy and it can’t go ahead. It’s not practical, it’s not sensible. Both schools deserve a head teacher of their own.”

Trouble for students in the long run?

One community member said that any money saved by the shared arrangement isn’t worth it.

“The simple fact is that a cluster head cannot provide the same attention to a school as a dedicated one, so in times of increased pressure on school staff the authorities are prioritising costs over pupils and actually making it worse for the staff.”

Another parent said that, because Fraserburgh North is a hub for children with additional needs, it shouldn’t be stretched thin by a shared arrangement.

Although the parent praised Mrs Mellin’s abilities, she said children need a constant presence.

“Children need consistency especially children with additional needs.”

The Lochpots website lists Mrs Mellin as the head teacher from Monday to Wednesday.

Lochpots Primary’s head teacher announced her retirement in December, leading to the temporary shared arrangement with Fraserburgh North.

Mrs Mellin praised for her efforts

Despite confusion over the schools’ futures and opposition to a shared headship, most of those involved agree that Mrs Mellin is an asset to both schools. Parents discussing the situation online were quick to say that Lochpots would benefit from her leadership.

During a school inspection in December, an Education Scotland regulator commended Mrs Mellin for her school culture and work resolving issues raised during earlier inspections.

But still, community members agreed with councillors that the schools need their own leaders.

Other schools in a similar position

A spokesman for the council said that the arrangement between Fraserburgh North and Lochpots is still temporary.

“The council took the decision to put in place an interim shared head teacher arrangement between Lochpots and Fraserburgh North schools further to the retiral of the Lochpots head teacher in December.

“The service is currently consulting with key stakeholders in relation to next steps.”

Kincardine O’Neill and Lumphanan Primary Schools are also currently sharing a head teacher. But the schools are smaller in size than either Fraserburgh or Lochpots.

The two schools are roughly five miles and a 10-minute drive apart. They combine for a total enrolment of 67 pupils.

Read more from the Schools & Family team

Aberdeenshire head of education warned firm it could lose work in FoI breach row

WATCH: Kittybrewster kids get medieval in ‘Stories from St Machar’s Cathedral’

New Midmill head teacher follows in mother’s footsteps

Already a subscriber? Sign in