AN EXPANDING primary school is set to bring in the new year with a new headteacher.

Ronnie Taylor will take on the role at Gullane Primary School on January 7, following the Christmas break, and is looking forward to the new challenge.

Mr Taylor, who is currently headteacher at Innerwick and Stenton Primary Schools, said there were always “mixed feelings” when it came to leaving a post with fond memories to take on a new role, but he was looking forward to making the move.

He said: “I think the interest for me was, for the most part, a single school.

“I have had three years here and about the same in the Scottish Borders across two schools there.

“It is a long time working across two schools and the opportunity to have a single school space, a bit closer to home, and a bigger school as well, which is more of a challenge in that respect, was all attractive to me as an incentive.”

Seonaid McGillivray will step down as headteacher at Gullane Primary School at Christmas.

The school, which is home to more than 220 pupils, is currently undergoing a £5.5 million expansion. New nursery accommodation, classrooms, office space and a multi-purpose hall are all part of the ambitious project.

At the same time, large-scale housing developments are being built in the village, which will increase the school roll.

Mr Taylor, who has lived in Longniddry since 2000, was looking forward to seeing the extension works.

He said: “There is quite a lot of excitement around that. It really is a school that has lots of additional potential to what is already there.

“Being in Longniddry, I have visited Gullane many times and the lovely beaches, the golf courses and the lovely places to eat. I am looking forward to becoming a community member there and making a contribution.”

Mr Taylor, 54, joined Innerwick and Stenton Primary Schools in 2018, having previously worked in the Borders.

The two East Lothian schools were coming together in a partnership when Mr Taylor arrived and he felt it had proven “a really positive experience”.

He highlighted there were lots of communal activities for children, including assemblies and sports days.

The father-of-two was hopeful the recruitment process for his successor at the smaller schools would be well under way by the time he left and there would be a successful handover.

Councillor Jeremy Findlay, who represents the North Berwick Coastal ward, lives in Gullane and was looking forward to welcoming the new headteacher.

He said: “I was on the interviewing panel so I got to know him quite well through that.

“He was an excellent candidate and I know that the parents of Gullane primary who were on the interviewing panel were extremely keen to have him and I’m sure he will be an extremely good headteacher.

“He will be the third headteacher in the last three years, so, hopefully, we will get a little bit of continuity.

“I’m sure he will be excellent and I look forward to seeing him in the post come the beginning of January.”