Bus adverts aim to raise Castlebrae school profile

Castlebrae High pupils proudly show off the advert on a Lothian Bus. Picture: contributed
Castlebrae High pupils proudly show off the advert on a Lothian Bus. Picture: contributed
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ADVERTS promoting a once closure-threatened school are to be plastered over buses.

It is hoped the ads for embattled Castlebrae High will help reverse the school’s fortunes and help fill empty classrooms.

The school has been under fire for its poor exam results and a roll which fell as low as 14 per cent.

However, a plan, encompassing the bus marketing blitz, is creating a buzz around the high school, with teachers and pupils alike all desperate to see the travelling Lothian Bus
billboards.

“This is about reminding people that they have a school – an aspirational school – in their community,” said headteacher Derek Curran. “We’re doing lots of work to raise the school’s profile and the bus adverts are part of that.”

He said the adverts will tell people the struggling Craigmillar secondary is the place to go to study subjects such as science and technology.

The number 14 service, which travels through the school catchment area, will have the promo-shots on their exteriors. In total, 80 per cent of Lothian’s fleet will feature some sort of Castlebrae marketing material – with the bill for the drive picked up by Lothian Buses.

The public relations blitz arrives as education chiefs confirmed primary school head Lindsey Watt – credited with leading nearby Castleview Primary to a rare “excellent” rating in a recent inspection – will take responsibility for Castlebrae pupils in S1-3.

Mr Curran said the appointment was part of moves to “smooth the transition” between Castlebrae and its feeder primaries, and boost rolls further.

“We have really strong and powerful links with the primary schools,” he said. “There’s real scope for cross fertilisation, where a primary teacher could be working up here with our staff working in the primaries with brighter kids in subjects such as maths and English.”

Councillor Cathy Fullerton, chair of the Castlebrae working group of teachers, parents and education specialists, also hailed the new dawn for the school.

Underlining the council’s commitment to seeing it turned around, she said Castlebrae was moving into “an exciting new chapter”.

Lothian Bus bosses said they were glad to lend a hand in revitalising the school. Ian Craig, chief executive, said: “Through discussions with the head teacher we have arranged advertising on bus routes in the area, which we hope will help to communicate the improvements that are taking place at the school.”