The Royal Blind School, one of Scotland’s most prestigious special schools, has appointed a new headteacher.
Elaine Brackenridge, who has served as deputy head for the last four and a half years, will replace Julie Fardell at the beginning of the autumn term. Ms Fardell is moving to become Headteacher of Abingdon House School, an independent day school in London that supports children with learning difficulties.
Ms Fardell said: “Elaine is passionate about the Royal Blind School and its role in providing the highest quality education, care and support to young people with visual impairment.
“In her current post, she has developed very significant links with the community, local authorities, and other practitioners and organisations. This will stand her in good stead to lead the school in the future, ensuring the highest quality of specialist education for our enrolled pupils, together with the significant national outreach remit that will be further developed over time.”
Elaine, who is originally from the East End of Glasgow, already had three children of her own before she gained her qualifications in education and visual impairment.
She said: “When I was at school, I didn’t have enough self-belief to think I could go to university and I left with three O Grades.”
In her late 20s she gained Highers through an open education scheme at Motherwell College, later graduating from Jordanhill College with an honours degree and a distinction in teaching.
Elaine continued: “I had become a parent helper at Carmyle Primary, the school in the East End of Glasgow that my three children were attending, and that is where I was inspired to return to education, gain Highers and get into university.
“After organising a successful seventh birthday party for my son I was encouraged by friends who were teachers to embark on a teaching career. I am forever grateful for their encouragement to realise my vocation.”
Elaine’s first teaching position was at St Vincent’s School for the Blind and Deaf in Glasgow and she has continued to focus on educating children who are visually impaired and who may also have other disabilities.
She is taking over the role of Head at the Royal Blind School during an exciting time for the renowned establishment. The school is focussing on establishing the new National Education Resource Centre for Visual Impairment, which is to be developed over the next few years.
Elaine said: “I believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn, develop and be supported to achieve the best they can. The Royal Blind School is a great place to work and teach and I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the Royal Blind School in its next stage of development, and I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead.”