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Wanted: School with only ten pupils needs a new teacher... but its on a remote Scottish Island 370 miles away

A teacher is wanted for the Isle of Muck. Pictures: Geograph/WikiCommons/ CC
A teacher is wanted for the Isle of Muck. Pictures: Geograph/WikiCommons/ CC

A tiny school on a remote Scottish island has taken to social media in the hope of finding a new teacher for its ten pupils.

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An advert has been posted on the Come and Teach on Muck Facebook page for the job of principal teacher for the primary school on the island of Muck, which is home to about 40 inhabitants.

The island is 370 miles north of Harrogate and it would take nine hours to drive there.

“We are looking for a primary, principal teacher to come and live and teach on the beautiful Isle of Muck,” it says.

The successful applicant will be expected to live on the island, which has no shop and no mains electricity.

Muck, at two miles long and a mile wide, is the smallest of the Small Isles in the Inner Hebrides.

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It’s reached by ferry from Mallaig, which takes an hour and 40 minutes, but is regularly cut off from the mainland during bad weather.

The island is not connected to the National Grid so power is supplied by local solar and wind energy schemes, with diesel generators as back-up.

The successful candidate will take sole responsibility for educating all the children in the school and nursery.

The current roll has nine primary and one nursery pupil, but that is expected to fall to six primary and three nursery pupils in the coming academic year.

Older children are schooled on the mainland, boarding there and returning for weekends every fortnight. It’s not the first time the community has reached out on social media to fill the post.

The current teacher, who is leaving at the end of the current term, was recruited in the same way after traditional advertisements failed to attract a suitable candidate.

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The job received interest from hundreds of people across the globe as the Facebook post went viral, but it was Laura Marriner who was eventually chosen for the role.

She moved 700 miles from Hampshire with her husband and two sons to take up the position in late 2016.

Highland Council has recruited three class teachers and two head teachers for Muck Primary in the past five years and admits finding the right people to fill roles in remote schools can be challenging.

A cluster arrangement using teachers from elsewhere was in place before the current teacher was hired.

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A spokeswoman for Highland Council said: “Our current teacher at Muck Primary is leaving at the end of this term.

“We would like to thank her for her excellent service at Muck Primary and wish her all the best in the future.

“We have discussed the recruitment of this vacancy with Muck Parent Council and they have agreed that the council will advertise the vacancy as it usually does, through myjobscotland, and in the Times Educational Supplement, as it is a promoted post.

“In addition, the Muck Parent Council has set up a new Facebook page called ‘Come and Teach on Muck’, which advertises the vacancy.”

The council specification for the job states: “The island is ideal for nature lovers, with many species of birds, including corncrakes and puffins, and other resident animals such as otters and seals.

“Muck enjoys stunning views of the mainland and the other Small Isles, as well as Skye and the Outer Hebrides.

“The community is renowned for its hospitality, and puts on many events during the year.”

And if that’s not enough to sparks a stampede of hopeful applicants, the salary is almost as attractive as the scenery at £41,418 a year, plus a relocation package of up to £6,500 on top.

A three-bedroom flat is available for rent along with the position.