‘PROBLEMS’ filling head teacher posts were debated at the local education committee — despite the fact there is only one current vacancy.

A Tory councillor questioned whether a ‘lack of ambition’ amongst senior school staff was behind perceived difficulties in finding staff to go for promoted positions.

Cllr David Wilson voiced his concerns and queried if the right people were being appointed into the depute head roles.

But this was rejected by education bosses, who argue they are doing everything they can to train depute heads to progress their careers.

Mr Wilson asked: “Why are we not getting depute heads in primary schools to apply for head teacher jobs?”

Ruth Binks, who is the local authority’s head of education, replied: “There are a number of reasons why.

“This is not a particular problem for Inverclyde, it’s a problem across Scotland.”

Cllr Wilson then asked if the issue was due to a lack of ambition amongst depute heads.

He said: “Are we not appointing the appropriate people as depute heads if they are not showing ambition?”

Throughout the exchanges there was no reference made to the current position regarding vacancies.

Subsequent enquiries put to the council by the Telegraph, following the meeting, revealed that only one post remains unfilled at present.

During the Municipal Buildings debate education officer Ms Binks said that Inverclyde Council had a strong track record of supporting deputes into head roles, and explained that deputes are keen to build up their experience before progressing their career.

She said: “There comes a point when the deputes want a certain amount of experience before they make that leap.

“Up until now we have been successful in appointing deputes in head teacher posts.”

Grant McGovern, the local authority’s head of inclusive education, culture and corporate policy, said: “This is something which has been raised at a national level, as every local authority is facing the same issues.

“By far the majority of our work is to look at how to train people up so they can progress.”

Paula McEwan, the teacher representative on the committee, said increasing workloads and pressures placed on head teachers was putting deputes off from applying for top jobs.