High school appoints new headteacher

Hawick High School.
Hawick High School.

Hawick High School has appointed a new permanent headteacher after a seven-month search.

Vicky Porteous will take up her new role at the Buccleuch Road school the start of the next school term after leaving her depute headteacher post at Deans Community High School in West Lothian.

The former chemistry teacher has recently gained experience in an acting headteacher position at Whitburn Academy in West Lothian between October and Christmas last year.

After relocating with her family a few years ago to the Borders, Vicky is now keen to work closer to home.

She will take over the £75,000-plus-a-year vacancy from John Clarke, acting head since last summer but now set to resume his headship of Berwickshire High in Duns.

Former headteacher Kevin McClory resigned in December after being suspended last summer as a result of his handling of staff issues. He had been there for two and a half years.

Mrs Porteous said: “My vision for the school is to create an aspirational learning culture where all young people experience the highest quality teaching and learning, where they are nurtured and supported to achieve their potential, maximise their qualifications, skills and wider learning experiences and are enabled to move onto sustained and positive destinations.

“The opportunity to work in the Scottish Borders has come at an ideal time for myself and my family.

“We relocated from Edinburgh and made our home in the Borders a number of years ago, and I have been commuting ever since.

“I leave my previous job as depute headteacher (curriculum) at Deans Community High School in West Lothian with fond memories and very much look forward to the challenges and new experiences that face me as headteacher at Hawick High School.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “We are delighted that Vicky Porteous will be taking up the post of headteacher at Hawick High School at the start of the new school term.

“Previously a depute headteacher with recent acting headteacher experience at West Lothian Council, she was appointed after three robust rounds of interviews involving parents, Hawick and Hermitage councillor George Turnbull, the service director of children and young people and our chief officer of schools.

“Her performance throughout the interview process was outstanding, and she has since provided excellent references that confirm her extensive leadership and management background.”

Pupils helped take part in the search for a new headteacher with a nine-minute film on YouTube highlighting the best of Hawick.