New headteacher for troubled Castlebrae High

Norma Prentice, below, is to take over as headteacher at Castlebrae. Pic: Ian Georgeson

Norma Prentice, below, is to take over as headteacher at Castlebrae. Pic: Ian Georgeson

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A NEW headteacher has been appointed to lead Castlebrae High after its principal was suspended amid allegations of sexual impropriety with a female student.

Norma Prentice, currently head at Drummond Community High, will take up the equivalent position at the embattled Craigmillar secondary for the 2014-15 school session.

Norma Prentice

Norma Prentice

She will take over from Grace Vickers, who was installed as acting head after education bosses removed Derek Curran from the post when claims of sexual misconduct emerged earlier this month.

Education leaders said Mr Curran - dubbed a “super head” and drafted into Castlebrae from Forrester High last year - had agreed to end his secondment so a long-term leadership solution could be found for the school, which nearly closed over plunging rolls and poor exam results.

The allegations against Mr Curran are being probed by police, although no charges have yet been brought.

Confirming the appointment in a letter to parents, Gillian Tee, director of children and families, said: “Mrs Norma Prentice will take over the post of Head Teacher [at Castlebrae Community High School] for session 2014/15.

“Mrs Prentice is currently the Head Teacher at Drummond Community High School and brings a wealth of senior management experience to the post.”

The new head will be assisted by Castleview Primary counterpart Lindsey Watt, who will spend two days a week at Castlebrae and is set to assume responsibility for S1-3 pupils.

Education leaders highlighted Mrs Prentice’s extensive experience in running a community high school and said two depute heads would assist her in ongoing efforts to turn Castlebrae around.

The vacancy created at Drummond will be advertised and an appointment made, they added.

Ms Tee told parents: “I want to assure you that we are fully committed to continuing to improve outcomes for Castlebrae Community High School.”

Castlebrae parent leaders said Mrs Prentice would be welcomed “with open arms”.

Honor Flynn, chair of Castlebrae High parent council, said: “She has a very good reputation - I am really looking forward to working with her and I can see a good working relationship developing between us.

“I have never heard anything bad about her and I know she has a very good community programme at Drummond.”

The Evening News revealed earlier this month that police were investigating alleged sexual impropriety between Mr Curran and a student. He has been suspended but not been charged with any offence.