A Catholic primary school in East Lothian is to consider non-catholics for the position of headteacher - but a successful candidate will be given the title of 'leader of learning'.

St Martin's RC Primary in Tranent, has struggled to appoint a new headteacher despite three separate recruitment attempts. 

Now East Lothian council says non-Catholic candidates will be considered for the post, but it will only be on offer to those baptised in the faith.

Anyone appointed to the job, which carries a £52,725 salary, will not be allowed to take on the title of headteacher. They will have responsibility for administering the 180 pupil school and curriculum, but a senior staff membber will be given additional responsibility to lead the "faith dimension" of the school.

READ MORE: Scottish schools to serve vegan meals after human rights challenge

A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said: "East Lothian Council was unable to appoint a suitable candidate during multiple campaigns to recruit a new head teacher for St Martin's RC Primary School.

"Due to this unique and unprecedented situation our education service is working in partnership with the Diocese to secure a new head teacher for the school and to introduce this new post, leader of learning, if required.

"We remain committed to retaining St Martin's RC Primary at the heart of the Catholic community."

The post has now been readvertised with two separate titles, each carrying an identical job description. 

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said the "leader of learning" title was one which had already been used at other schools in Scotland.

He said: "The Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh has been working with East Lothian Council to resolve the recruitment issue at St Martin's RC Primary and still hopes that a suitable candidate can be found.

"Should no suitable candidate apply, consideration will be given to candidates for the post of 'leader of learning.

"That post would have responsibility for the management of the curriculum and be supported by a designated member of staff, who has additional responsibility to lead the faith dimension of the school community."

READ MORE: One third of councils are paying for police officers in schools

A spokesman for teaching union the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) said: "While the EIS wouldn't wish to comment in relation to an individual school or post, we are clear that all teachers should be treated fairly when applying for any post and that all appointments must comply with current legislation, including all relevant equality legislation.

"The key issue for any post is not the title, but the remit."