John Devine, currently a quality improvement officer (QIO) in PKC’s education department, will be the next headteacher of Breadalbane Academy. Present head, Mrs Swan, who announced her retirement at the 4 February parent council meeting, will continue in the post until the 16 August. From 17 August, Mr Devine will be headteacher.
A veteran of 23-years in teaching
A graduate of Glasgow University, where he gained an M.A (Hons) in English Language and Literature, Mr Devine has been a teacher for 23 years. He started his career in 1992 as an English teacher at Kirkwall Grammar School, in Orkney.
After 13 years on the islands, during which time he rose from probationer to the principal teacher of the English department, Mr Devine left Orkney to become the depute head (school improvement) at Blairgowrie High School. He remained in Blairgowrie for nine years, before moving to the Perth and Kinross education department as a quality improvement officer, responsible for standards in a number of secondary schools.
As well as an undergraduate degree in English, Mr Devine has a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), with distinction, from Northern College; an M.Ed postgraduate degree, in educational management, from Aberdeen University; and a Scottish Qualification for Headship, also from Aberdeen University.
The best of ten candidates for the job
Ten candidates from all over the UK applied for the job as head at Breadalbane. A rigorous selection procedure saw this reduced to just two in the final interview. Mr Devine impressed the selection committee with his thoughtful and meticulous approach, his knowledge of and commitment to the school and its Highland Perthshire catchment area, and his inclusive and open leadership philosophy.
“I was honoured to be one of the panel who selected Mr John Devine for the post at Breadalbane”, said Councillor Kate Howie, the elected member on the interview panel. “During the selection process it was obvious he totally understood and was enthused by the challenges and benefits of a rural school and the responsibilities of a headteacher and campus leader. Good leadership and communication at all levels including with the local community were his main key themes and I am delighted that he has accepted the post.”
First message to the school community
“I am delighted to have been appointed headteacher of Breadalbane Academy”, said Mr Devine. “I look forward to working with parents and the wider community in building on the success of the school and the community campus.
“I want Breadalbane Academy to be known as a place where young people want to come and learn and where teachers want to come and work. For me, schools are at their best when they can both reflect and promote their community in the experiences they offer. Breadalbane Academy is already doing this, for instance with its Rural Skills course and Gaelic medium teaching. That makes being a head at Breadalbane a very exciting prospect.”
Mrs Swan working for a smooth handover
Mr Devine already already knows Breadalbane Academy well, thanks to his role as our school’s current QIO. Between now and August, he will be liaising with Mrs Swan and her team in order to get a feel for Breadalbane Academy from a head’s perspective, so that he can hit the ground running.
“I am delighted to be handing Breadalbane Academy over to Mr Devine in the summer”, said current headteacher Linda Swan. “He knows the school well as a result of our close working relationship over his time as quality improvement officer; knowing what we do well and where we need to develop. I look forward to working with Mr Devine over the summer term to ensure the transition is smooth. I wish him well in this post.”
A chance to meet Mr Devine
We hope parents will join the parent council in congratulating Mr Devine on his appointment. We’ll invite him to the first parent council meeting of the 2015/16 academic year, giving everyone a chance to meet our new headteacher and ask him questions. We look forward to seeing as many parents as possible there.