South Scotland

Galashiels Academy tyre firm sponsorship signs removed

School sign
Image caption The signs appeared at Galashiels Academy in the summer but have now been taken down

Signs put up at a school as part of a sponsorship deal with a tyre company have been taken down as a council seeks "clarification" on advertising.

Senior staff at Galashiels Academy agreed a financial package with the local firm during the summer.

Boards were erected throughout the school grounds.

However, the day before pupils were due to return from the school holidays this week the signs were removed.

Education chiefs at Scottish Borders Council's headquarters at Newtown St Boswells took the decision to take the signs down until they came up with a firm policy for private sponsorship at schools in the region.

The school's main entrance sign in the driveway featured the logo of Ostle's Tyres with the phrase "A Local Company Supporting Local Education" and the message "Please drive carefully".

Several smaller signs with the company's logo were attached to the walls of the school above entrance doors.

However, the council's education department has yet to agree a policy on appropriate measures for private sponsorship within schools.

A statement from SBC confirmed the agreement had been struck between the school and Ostle's Tyres and both had arranged for the signage to be erected.

However, the council took the decision to have the signage removed and said discussions were taking place about more appropriate ways for the company to support the school.

Head of School Services Yvonne McCracken said: "We fully support the involvement of the community in the life of our schools.

"There are a number of excellent examples across the Borders where schools and the community, including local employers, have worked together to greatly enhance the opportunities for young people.

"However, in this case the process of agreeing sponsorship needed further consideration."

'Legal issues'

SBC education chairman Sandy Aitchison said: "Negotiations are continuing and there is a need for some clarification whether we can have advertising within schools.

"There are legal issues which need to be addressed.

"We are grateful to Ostle's Tyres for their involvement in the project and we will hopefully find an amicable solution to the problem in the coming weeks."

A spokesman for the Scottish government said private sponsorship for schools was a matter for local authorities.

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