Being headteacher is ‘best job in world’

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Diane Donnelly, 48, has spoken of her delight after starting her role as the new headteacher of Loanhead Primary School in Midlothian.

Mrs Donnelly, who is married with two teenage daughters, grew up in Glasgow’s east end.

She graduated with a BEd from Moray House and initially worked in London and Glasgow before she moved to Edinburgh.

A career which began in 1988, she has since worked as a class teacher at Ferryhill Primary, Drylaw, for 13 years, before spending another nine years at Queensferry Primary School.

Before her recent move to Loanhead Primary, Mrs Donnelly was depute head at Buckstone Primary for three years and also enjoyed a five-year stint as an associate tutor at Moray House.

In her new role, Mrs Donnelly is hoping she can help the school achieve the level one of UNICEF’S Rights Respecting School Award. An award which recognises the school’s effort in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of its planning, curriculum and ethos.

And after starting the job towards the end of last year – and dealing with a trapped owl in her first few weeeks – Mrs Donnelly has described her new position as “the best job in the world”.

She took on the role of headteacher following the departure of retired former school head Jeannette Finlayson.

Expressing her appreciation, she said: “I am absolutely loving it here. It is the best job in the world.

“I love the variety and different things happening every day. The children are lovely and parents have been really good.

“The parents want to work in partnership with us, they are really up for it and it is something I believe in very strongly.”

She has already began work by implementing a new school ethos which focuses on child care, honesty, inclusion, learning and development.

“It is an interesting school and the ethos is already positive,” she said.

“I want to continue with that. It is important that this is a happy place to come.

“It will have to look at attainment but with things being put in place that is leading towards that.”

She has placed an emphasis on gaining house points within the school with the children competing each week for a shield and treats.

“It is building a sense of community and I want to do well for our school,” she said.

Away from her work the energetic Mrs Donnelly is enrolled in a fitness course, and said she loves running and frequently exercises when off the school grounds.