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Perhaps surprisingly, it is quite modern. There are no strict hierarchies distancing pupils from teachers and senior staff; teachers mingle with the students and would pride themselves on being approachable. One pupil said they felt ‘so lucky to be surrounded by such excellent people.’ Pupils talked of how they ‘felt listened to’ and that ‘teachers take suggestions on-board.’ Off-beat art department with music playing, described by a pupil as the most ‘laid-back place in the school.’ No secret that many…

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Since 2005, John Docherty (60s), studied geography at University of Glasgow followed by a one-year teacher training course. Previously assistant head at St Ninian’s and before that headteacher at St Andrew’s, Clydebank. Started out as a geography teacher and worked in Glasgow’s East End, the area where he grew up and lived until he got married and which is home to some of Scotland’s ‘poorest communities’. From there it must have been an interesting leap to St Ninian’s which could be described as serving some of Scotland’s wealthiest. Talking of his early experience, he says: ‘lt was highly enjoyable and very fulfilling. The pupils were hard working and the school worked very hard to support them and their families. In comparison, both schools [have the] same high standards, vision and expectations. The differences were income and...

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