TWO primary schools criticised for ‘weak’ leadership have had new headteachers brought in as part of moves to bring them up to standard.

East Lothian Council’s education committee heard the primary schools in Macmerry and Whitecraig both failed to meet the standards set by inspectors during visits from Education Scotland.

Macmerry Primary School was ordered to bring in additional support after inspectors said the school’s values were not “sufficiently understood” by children, parents and staff. They also found lessons were being affected by “low-level disruptive behaviour” and children were not being given the chance to make choices or learn to be independent.

They criticised the chaotic way children moved around the school and time taken to settle them into new lessons.

The committee was told that Jonathan Revell, former headteacher of Prestonpans Primary School, had been brought in to take over the leadership of Macmerry in the summer.

Mr Revell told the committee that the school, although small with 127 pupils and 25 nursery children, had a higher than average number of children on the autistic spectrum, with 10 per cent of all those identified with additional support needs on the spectrum.

He said: “A lot of the needs of those children were not being met but we have additional staff and support and it is making a difference.”

Whitecraig Primary School also came under fire after inspectors found children not being taught for long periods because of timetable issues and lessons being “too slow” for some children.

They called for an “urgent” review of teaching approaches at the school, which has 96 pupils and 24 in nursery.

The committee was told that Fiona Macartney, headteacher of Stoneyhill Primary School, Musselburgh, had been brought in to act as interim headteacher until the end of the school year and had made significant progress.

She said: “The staff commitment to the new approaches has been excellent.”