A HEAD teacher is swapping primary school for the pulpit after being called to the ministry.

Douglas Creighton, who has been at the helm at Newark Primary for 18 months, is to train as Church of Scotland minister.

The 32-year-old said leaving the school was a decision made with a heavy heart but he is excited about the future.

Mr Creighton told the Telegraph: “It was difficult because I love education and I have loved my time at Newark Primary.

“It’s been a great school. The staff have been absolutely wonderful.

“I like the way that staff and parents work together to ensure the children get the best experience possible.

“The school community has been hugely supportive and acknowledge the calling of faith and the following of something I believe in.”

Douglas grew up in Inverkip and was involved in youth work before training as a teacher 10 years ago.

He moved to Dumfries and Galloway as a probationer and stayed there after securing permanent posts.

He, his wife Emma and their young family came back up and settled in Largs in 2014, holding posts as acting head teacher at Dalry and Skelmorlie primaries before landing the position at Newark in February 2016.

But in the background he had been studying to towards becoming an ordained local minister, a part-time non-paid position.

He then decided to switch to became a full time candidate for the ministry.

Douglas said: “I’ve absolutely no idea why. It’s a cliche when you say God works in mysterious ways.

“Why move and with all the experiences I’ve had in education go to work in the church? 

“A year ago I didn’t know I would be leaving a post I enjoyed and tidying my office for the last time.

“It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make but it was led by faith.”

Douglas says he has the full support of his wife Emma and they have a son Harris, six, and two-year-old daughter Freya.

He will now become a full-time student for three years, undertaking a distance-learning course at Aberdeen University.

Douglas, a member of St John’s Church in Largs, said: “I’ve been teaching 10 years, so I’ve spent a third of my life in teaching and learning.

“I’m excited about what lies ahead. It will be a challenge and we will go forward together."