Grangemouth High head teacher leaves school to take on his 'last challenge'

The head teacher of Grangemouth High School bid an emotional farewell to pupils before the Easter break then admitted it was one of the hardest decisions he had to make.

By James Trimble
Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 1:47 pm

Paul Dunn had been the man in charge at the Tinto Drive school for eight years, and loved every minute of it.

"The time has just flown past,” he said. “Grangemouth High is a brilliant school and a great community. There is just such a positive culture and environment here.

"The pupils and staff work so well together – it's a really caring and nurturing school.”

Paul Dunn displays one of the leaving gifts he received from pupils as he announced his departure from Grangemouth High School after eight years in charge

His decision to leave to become head teacher at Denny High School was a hard one – although he was confident Grangemouth would continue to develop without him.

"What made it easier was knowing the school was in such good hands with the staff and pupils we have here at Grangemouth now. If I waited any longer I would probably never have left Grangemouth.

“I just wanted one last challenge to work together with a new set of pupils and staff and Denny High was where I got my first promotion so it’s coming full circle.”

It was also hard for the school to say goodbye to the popular head teacher.

"It got really emotional,” Mr Dunn admitted. “I received lots of gifts from pupils and staff, including a fantastic framed picture where pupils were asked to write down one word that described me.

"The school captains had arranged a book containing messages from every school captain who was here for the eight years I was head teacher.”

Although current COVID-19 restrictions have made it impossible for Mr Dunn to address all pupils he has been able to talk to some senior pupils before his departure.

"I gave a social distanced farewell speech on the astroturf pitch. That’s been the most difficult thing about this – not being able to see all the pupils for a proper farewell.

"I’ve missed that with COVID-19 – missed the pupils being here and even when they are here, seeing them with the masks on it’s not the same.”

Mr Dunn starts his new position at Denny High School on April 19 when the new term begins, while Ash Wood will take over as acting head teacher at Grangemouth High.