A TEACHER in Perthshire has been awarded an honour by the Pope for her services to education.

Anne Marie Losty, who teaches at Kilgraston School in Bridge of Earn, has been awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal.

The award, which translates literally as 'for the Church and the Pontiff', is also known as the Cross of Honour and is the highest medal that the Pope can award to a layperson.

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Miss Losty, a chemistry teacher, was given the award for her dedication to Catholic education.

She has taught at Kilgraston School, an independent boarding school for girls, for more than 36 years and is due to retire this August.

She was presented with the award on behalf of the Pontiff by the Right Reverend Stephen Robson, Bishop of Dunkeld, at Kilgraston's annual presentation of ribbons and prizes.

Founded in 1930, the school is the largest girls' boarding school in Scotland and has around 317 pupils with 132 boarders.

It is also currently the only Catholic boarding school in Scotland.

During her time at the school, Miss Losty was the Head of Science and served as a housemistress.

As part of her legacy to the school, she was involved in the installation of a new £1 million science building, including four new laboratories, which opened in June.

She actively encouraged students to pursue further study and careers and also held a series of science soirees at the school.

Mr Tim Hall, Chair of Kilgraston's Board of Governors, paid tribute to Miss Losty as "a tireless advocate and example of the Sacred Heart Goals in action".

The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award was established in 1888 and is given to a member of the Catholic faith who has shown distinguished service to the Church and the papacy. The papal honour, which consists of a gold medal inscribed in Latin is awarded alongside an official scroll.

Current versions of the medal have the Pope's coat of the arms at the point of the top arm of the cross.