SB Connect Winter 2016

Council commits to retain small rural schools

As part of the ongoing school estate review, the Council is committed to engaging with rural schools with pupil rolls of fewer than 50 and their wider communities to find ways to sustain them.

In addition to this work, pre-consultation on the future of education provision in Jedburgh, Eyemouth, Hawick and Galashiels is also planned as part of the first part of the review, scheduled to take place through to October next year.

Formal proposals for three currently mothballed schools –Eccles/Leitholm Primary, Hobkirk Primary and Ettrick Primary – as well as pre-consultation on Roman Catholic schools provision are also taking place as part of the initial phase of the programme.

Councillor Sandy Aitchison, Executive Member for Education, said: “The principle of the school estate review is to look at our buildings and locations with a view to increasing educational opportunities, improving outcomes for children and young people and ensuring that our school estate is sustainable, affordable and suitable for the future.

“The pre-consultation with parents, pupils and communities has given us a ‘warts and all’ assessment of our schools from these key stakeholders. Going forward, these views will be taken into account in the next stage of our discussions and in the formal proposals we will take out to public consultation.

“The school estate review as a whole, and the actions identified following consultations, are not going to be an overnight process and we are committed to fully engaging with parents, pupils, staff and wider community as we progress with the review.”