KNOX Academy’s new head pupils have vowed to help Meadowpark children become a bigger part of the school community.

Sixth-years Catriona Dee and Jocelyn McKnight were elected as head pupils – the first time two girls have had the role – at the Haddington secondary school before the summer holidays.

Sixteen-year-old Catriona, of Haddington, said: “We’ve got quite a few plans and lots of stuff involving Meadowpark, which is part of our school and is for additional support need students.

“They have talked about not being involved with the school and we want to improve that.

“There is a lot of autism awareness and we are looking to invite the pupils over for events like sports day.”

Meadowpark, on neighbouring Victoria Road, is home to 19 pupils who have a range of additional support needs.

The school campus, which is based within the former Haddington Infant School, opened three years ago.

As well as five classrooms, the building is home to a food court, soft play, sensory room and outdoor space.

Jocelyn, who is studying Advanced Higher modern studies and English, as well as Higher art and psychology, added: “We went for a meeting with them to strengthen our bond and try to get their school more familiar in the community as well.”

The two teenagers will be assisted throughout the year by depute head pupils Donald Bathgate, Eve McBain and Kuba Stepniewski.

Before the summer holidays, each of the teenagers put themselves forward in a bid to become part of the student leadership team.

Each candidate produced a manifesto outlining what they hoped to achieve at the school if elected.

Then, they faced an interview with a teacher from the school, as well as a younger pupil and ward councillor Shamin Akhtar, who is East Lothian Council’s spokeswoman for education and children’s services.

Finally, a presentation was made to pupils during assembly, with their classmates then able to cast their vote.

Each section of the process counted for a third, with Catriona, who is studying Advanced Higher modern studies and Higher politics, psychology and business management, and Jocelyn, 17, declared the new head pupils.

Jocelyn, from Humbie, told the Courier: “I did not expect it at all.

“It was a bit of a shock but I am really happy we both got the position together as head pupils.

“It would have been sad if we were not both together and I am really happy about it and we have got a lot of plans for the future.”

Charli Prime, depute headteacher at the school, added: “[At Meadowpark] we offer secondary provision for young people, predominantly with autism, who struggle to access mainstream curriculum and who therefore require additional support to either attend mainstream classes and consider positive destinations beyond school.

“We work very closely with their families and partner agencies including Edinburgh College, Skills Development Scotland and other community groups.”