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Former Scotland footballer scores top education job at Highland Council

By Andrew Dixon

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Nicky Grant.
Nicky Grant.

Alness Academy head teacher Nicky Grant has been appointed as interim head of education services at Highland Council.

She joins the local authority's new team of executive chief officers and replaces Dr James Vance, who is returning to his role as head teacher at Culloden Academy following an interim secondment.

Councillor John Finlayson, chairman of Highland Council's care, learning and housing committee, said: “I am delighted to welcome Nicky Grant to the post of interim head of education and I am sure she will embrace the challenges of the post and will also enjoy the support of all who work in care and learning across all our establishments, as we continue to move forward our ambitious programme of education transformation.

“I would also like to thank at this time Dr James Vance, for all the hard and effective work he has done in the post over the last year and I wish him well, as he returns to his substantive post as head teacher of Culloden Academy.”

Ms Grant has been head teacher of the 431-pupil Alness Academy since December 2018. She was previously depute head teacher at Elgin High School with Moray Council since 2016, and before that was depute head teacher at Kemnay Academy in Aberdeenshire.

Her principal subject was physical education which she previously taught at schools in West Lothian. Prior to this she was a professional footballer, playing for Celtic, Arsenal and Frankfurt among others, and was capped 98 times for Scotland.

“Since taking up post in the Highlands I have been overwhelmed by the level of care and commitment staff demonstrate towards improving the well-being, attainment and achievement of all our young people," she said.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with such driven and talented staff; to connect communities and develop sustainable partnerships with the progress of our young people at the heart of all we do. I am ambitious for all our staff and our young people and look forward to sharing aspirations for collective successes and achievements.”

The council has 203 schools in the region.

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