New teacher found for tiny island school
A new teacher has been found for a school with nine pupils on a tiny Hebridean island after a social media appeal generated worldwide interest.
Residents of the Isle of Muck set up a dedicated Facebook page to attract applicants after the former teacher left for family reasons.
Nearly 60 people applied and now a permanent teacher has been appointed.
The successful applicant, Laura Marriner, will move to the island with her husband Dean and their two sons.
She works for Hampshire County Council and will take up her new appointment in November.
Muck Primary School has eight pupils and one nursery pupil.
The Marriners' eldest son Charlie, whose little brother is called Atticus, will join the island school's P1 class.
Mrs Marriner, who is originally from Flintshire in North Wales, said: "I am really looking forward to getting started in the classroom at Muck Primary and can't wait to meet all the children and their parents.
"My husband and I hope that our family will settle into community island life as swiftly as possible.
"We are strongly supportive of sustainable living and trust that this will prove useful in a small island community where we hope to bring a positive contribution to the island."
Muck's parent council chairman Mark Johnson said: "On behalf of all the parents, we are very happy to welcome Laura and her family to Muck.
"The parent council is looking forward to working with Laura and supporting her in her work. We are also extremely grateful to everyone from far and wide who helped with our search for a teacher."
Highland Council's education, children and adult services committee chairman Drew Millar said he was delighted by Mrs Marriner's appointment.
The community on Muck turned to social media in their hunt for a teacher after an initial tranche of applicants decided life on the remote island was not for them.
Located south of the Isle of Skye and measuring just 2.6km (1.6 miles) east to west, it can be a wet and windswept place in winter.
Muck has no church, shop or even a postbox. With a population of about 30, a single road links a farm to the main settlement near the harbour at Port Mor.
The job description, however, highlights it as an ideal location for nature lovers with bird species including corncrakes and puffins and other abundant wildlife such as otters and seals.
A three-bedroom flat is included with the job, situated over the school house, offering views across the sea to Ardnamurchan Point.