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WATCH: Inverness High School headteacher says he's 'gutted' to resign in candid interview

By Annabelle Gauntlett

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The headteacher of Inverness High School has resigned after 'a host of circumstances meant it was probably time to move on'.

John Rutter has stepped down from his position of headteacher at Inverness High School after working there for over nine years with effect from October 23.

He said: "There's a whole host of circumstances, some of them are personal, that have all come together at the same time, so I think it's probably time to move on.

"I am gutted to be leaving the school, I love the kids and the staff. The community that I serve are brilliant and they've been totally supportive over the years, so I am really sad to be leaving."

Whilst Mr Rutter has praised the school and staff for 'supporting him through the last few weeks', he has recognised a 'recruitment problem', with both head teachers and teachers across the Highlands and 'in some circumstances on a national level too'.

With three out of five Inverness secondary schools currently without a permanent headteacher, questions have been raised as to what the root of the problem is, and why there is such a lack of staff retention for teaching in the Highlands.

He said: "The job is well paid, you can't deny that, but it is pretty stressful and I think that does affect people's decision when they look into headteaching."

John Rutter.
John Rutter.

Mr Rutter talked about the duties in the original job description being 'some what different in reality' due to the sheer amount of immediate responsibilities that have to be dealt with on a day-to-day basis, and subsequently leaving the strategic long term planning duties to one side.

The headteacher also raised concerns in regards to the current 'job sizing' process for senior staff in secondary schools as, he said: "I think it's something that needs to be addressed on a national scale because you're ending up with headteachers, especially in smaller schools, getting paid less than depute heads in bigger schools."

He continued: "I think there's more support needed in the way of staffing for secondary schools."

John Rutter.
John Rutter.

Highland Council have announced that Claire McGonigal, current headteacher at Grantown Grammar School, will take up the post as acting head teacher at Inverness High School on Monday, October 30.

Meanwhile, Mr Rutter is 'excited' to start his new position as deputy head at Culloden Academy next month and will continue his passion of a career in teaching.

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