A HARD-WORKING teacher is getting top marks for effort after starting a new job.

For not only is Ian Gillies having to get to grips with his first post as a headteacher, he is also busy helping the latest addition to his family settle in at home.

Ian, from Paisley, has taken charge at St Thomas’ Primary, in Neilston.

But it was a hectic beginning to his new job...as his wife went into labour the day after he started.

Ian said: “I started on the Tuesday and, the following day, my wife went into labour. By Thursday, she had given birth.

“It was a really busy time. I tried to pop into school here and there but then I took my paternity leave.”

After a slightly disruptive start to his career at the Broadlie Road school, 34-year-old Ian is now settling into his position and enjoying getting to know the pupils and staff.

“Now that I have a young baby, I thought I would need to be full of coffee to keep going but I have found that the pupils give me energy and that helps see me through the day,” he said.

“It’s such a lovely school and a supportive community.”

Dad-of-two Ian has stepped up from his former post as depute headteacher at St Andrew’s Primary, in Greenock.

And it was with his wife in mind that he decided to apply for the top job at St Thomas’ Primary.

“She grew up in Neilston and was familiar with the school and the area,” said Ian. “I guess the area itself was the main attraction for me.

“The type of school that St Thomas’ is also really appealed to me.”

Ian now hopes to become a valuable member of the Neilston community by becoming a ‘visible presence’ in the area.

One of the first dates pencilled into his calendar was Neilston’s Christmas light switch-on.

Ian will also be following the St Thomas’ Primary mission statement, which is to ensure that every child is valued and supported in achieving their full potential, with partnerships between home and school seen as central to making sure these aims are achieved.

St Thomas’ Primary is also a ‘Rights Respecting School,’ where children are encouraged to flourish within an environment that is “stimulating, nurturing, supportive and inclusive.”

Ian said: “I want to improve the pupil experience first and foremost but also involve the community a lot more in the work of the pupils.

“I’m hoping the school will be an open space where parents and family members can play a real part in the school’s work.”