A HEADTEACHER has been selected to run the new primary school for Prestonpans.

The new school is a merger of Prestonpans Primary School and Prestonpans Infant & Nursery School.

Neither of the current headteachers – Sheila Laing from Prestonpans Infant School and Jonathan Revell of Prestonpans Primary – applied for the new position.

East Lothian Council has now announced that the post has been given to Alison Cookson and she will take up the role in August.

Fiona Robertson, head of education with the council, said: “Alison Cookson is an experienced headteacher who has most recently worked as the interim chief executive Officer to Salford Academy Trust [in Greater Manchester].

“She joins Prestonpans at an important stage in the school’s development and will lead a transition group involving staff, parents and pupils to establish one learning community from early years through to P7.”

Sheila Laing is staying with the council – she is taking up a new ‘virtual headteacher’ post in the county for looked-after and care experienced young people, starting in August.

Ms Robertson added: “The virtual headteacher post is a first for East Lothian and follows successful pilots in other areas, including Aberdeen.

“This is an important role to champion the needs of care experienced young people and ensure that they receive support to improve their life experiences and educational outcomes.

“It will involve working with a wide range of key partners, young people, carers and agencies to develop and implement a strategy to put in place the best possible outcomes for care experienced pupils.

“I am delighted that we have appointed Sheila to this role and that her enthusiasm, professionalism and experience will support and drive forward this important work.”

The virtual headteacher role is funded for two years through Scottish Attainment Challenge Funding.