A new Head Teacher has been appointed at one of Scotland’s most renowned special schools.

Elaine Brackenridge will take on the position of Head Teacher at the Royal Blind School at the start of the Autumn term. She will lead the school during a period of re-development as the Royal Blind School will be developing a new resource centre, growing its outreach services, and in Autumn 2014 will be merging its two campuses into one.

Elaine Brackenridge, who has been a Depute Head Teacher at the Royal Blind School for the last four and a half years, will replace Julie Fardell, who is moving to become Head Teacher of Abingdon House School, an independent day school in London that supports children with learning difficulties.

Mrs Brackenridge will be instrumental in establishing the Royal Blind School’s new National Education Resource Centre for Visual Impairment which will be further developed over the coming years in cooperation with other agencies and services. The Centre will support the education of visually impaired pupils in schools throughout Scotland, providing pupil assessment and support, as well as advice and training for the education sector on working with children and young people with a visual impairment.

Originally from the East end of Glasgow, Mrs Brackenridge gained an interest and qualifications in education and visual impairment later in life, undertaking Highers through open learning at Motherwell College in her late 20’s after having three children. She graduated from Jordanhill with an honours degree and a distinction in teaching. Her first permanent teaching appointment was at St Vincent’s School for the Blind and Deaf in Glasgow. She said:

“When I was at school, I didn’t have enough self-belief to think I could go to university and I left with three O grades. I became a parent helper at the school that my three children were attending (Carmyle Primary) and that is where I was inspired to return to education, gain Highers and get into University. . After organising a successful 7th birthday party for my son I was encouraged by friends who were teachers to embark on a teaching career.   I am forever grateful for their encouragement to realise my vocation.”

Her career continued to focus on educating children with a visual impairment and also children with multiple disabilities and visual impairment. She continued:

“I believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn, develop and be supported to achieve the best that they can. During my time at the Royal Blind School I have been thrilled to see pupils thrive and succeed; many achieving things far and beyond what had been expected of them.   The Royal Blind School is a great place to work and teach and I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the Royal Blind School in its next stage of development, and I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

Julie Fardell, who has been Principal of the Royal Blind School since September 2009, said:

“Elaine Brackenridge is a very experienced and well qualified teacher of children with visual impairment. During her four and a half years as Depute Head Teacher, she has gained valuable experience in school leadership and management.

“Mrs Brackenridge is passionate about the Royal Blind School and its role in providing the highest quality education, care and support to young people with visual impairment. In her current post, she has developed very significant links with the community, Local Authorities, and other practitioners and organisations. This will stand her in good stead to lead the school in the future, ensuring the highest quality of specialist education for our enrolled pupils, together with the significant national outreach remit that will be further developed over time.”

The re-development of the school will see its excellent facilities at Canaan Lane enhanced to take pupils across the whole curriculum and range of needs. The merger of the two school campuses is part of a long term plan which will see the school become even more highly specialised in its work with children and young people who are blind and have other educational support needs.

For more information please contact:

Davina Shiell, Marketing and Fundraising Manager, Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded on Tel: 0131 229 1456, Mob: 07713 98779, Email

Notes to editors:

The Royal Blind School is a national grant aided specialist school that educates and cares for pupils who are blind or have a visual impairment, as well as those with additional support needs. The School was founded in 1835.

The Royal Blind School is part of the Royal Blind Group, a registered charity that runs five services for blind and visually impaired people. Our vision at Royal Blind is to make a significant contribution to building a community in which blind and partially sighted people, including those who also have other disabilities, are fully included and lead fulfilling lives.