Braes High post was ‘more than a job’

Retiring head teacher Helen McCulloch's pioneering way of inclusive education has helped pupils at Braes High School achieve better grades and fulfil dreams in extra curricular activity
Retiring head teacher Helen McCulloch's pioneering way of inclusive education has helped pupils at Braes High School achieve better grades and fulfil dreams in extra curricular activity

A pioneering head teacher who turned the fortunes of a troubled high school around has retired from the profession after 26 years.

Helen McCulloch spent an emotional last day at Braes High last Friday saying goodbye to all the pupils and staff for the last time.

During her 11 years at the helm she and her hard-working staff have helped raise attainment levels and the aspirations of children to fulfil their dreams, both in education and personal achievements, stemming from “defining moments” spearheaded by the pupils.

One came back in 2006 when former pupil Christopher Struthers trekked to the North Pole which inspired other pupils to set their sights high.

Mrs McCulloch said: “When pupils saw this it engaged and inspired them and they began to realise they can achieve great things too. I think it was a defining moment in how pupils saw themselves.”

Mrs McCulloch, who has worked in the education sector since 1989, added: “It’s more than a job, it’s been part of my life. I will miss the children and the incredible staff here dreadfully. It’s been just phenomenal. I’ve enjoyed watching the changes and I can now say that Braes High is a school where the pupils have a great say in its running.”