South Scotland

Scottish Borders Roman Catholic school talks ending

St Margaret's Primary - picture by Walter Baxter
Image caption St Margaret's Primary in Galashiels is one of four RC schools in the region

Consultation is set to close on plans which could see a single head teacher for all four Roman Catholic schools in the Scottish Borders.

Members of the public have until Friday to make their opinions known.

Only two options are being considered - a single head teacher for all four sites or two head teachers covering a pair of schools each.

Scottish Borders Council hopes to reach a final decision on the way forward at a meeting in January.

At present there are four Roman Catholic primaries in the region - Halyrude in Peebles, St Margaret's in Hawick, St Joseph's in Selkirk and St Margaret's in Galashiels - with a total of about 200 pupils.

Recruitment problems with head teachers and "varied performance" in inspections prompted a review of how they are run.

It aims to tackle a "range of challenges" in the delivery of Catholic education in the region.

At a series of public meetings, the council has made it clear its preferred choice is that of one head teacher for all the schools.

Officials say it would be much easier to attract suitable candidates - a problem in the past.

However, there are concerns within the school communities that the management structure proposed may be too sparse - with only one head, and one depute.

Senior education officials, admitting they have not always got it right in the past, insist that if the new system does not work, there will be changes.

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