Scottish Borders school estate 'foundations' outlined

image copyrightGeograph/Google
image captionThe future of secondary schools for the next 10 to 15 years is being examined

A range of proposals have been drawn up to change the shape of education in the Borders for years to come.

The local authority is being asked to amend the "strategic principles" behind its schools estate review.

A detailed assessment of Galashiels Academy, Hawick High, Peebles High and Selkirk High is being sought.

Councillors will also be asked to agree to close three mothballed primaries and start consultation on shutting St Margaret's RC Primary in Hawick.

The full proposals are outlined in papers made available online.

If agreed, they would see a move towards the long term aim of delivering "intergenerational learning opportunities" along the lines of those being taken forward in Jedburgh.

Service director Donna Manson said: "What we are looking for from this first proposal is to set the foundation for the future provision of education in the Scottish Borders.

"We will be looking to work with communities to maximise the learning opportunities and potential available for all ages within a sustainable and fit for purpose school estate that will be of benefit to all."

The council will also look at the secondaries in Galashiels, Hawick, Peebles and Selkirk to assess their condition, suitability and capacity.

image copyrightScottish Borders Council
image captionIntergenerational learning is set to become a key goal of the council

That will help to set investment priorities for the next 10 to 15 years.

Assessment of the primary school estate already undertaken has identified Earlston and Eyemouth as priorities for investment.

Informal consultation is being recommended over the future vision for these two schools.

Meanwhile, approval is being sought to close three mothballed schools - Eccles/Leitholm, Ettrickbridge and Hobkirk - and begin consultation on the potential closure of St Margaret's in Hawick.

Finally, councillors are being asked to agree to the closure of the nursery, secondary and specialist provision in Jedburgh, alongside the establishment of the new intergenerational campus.

'Equity of provision'

Ms Manson said: "This a comprehensive set of proposals that have been developed as a result of both the robust consultation that was undertaken last year and the progress that we have made since then."

She said that if approved they would help ensure "equity of provision" across the schools estate as well as signal an "exciting and innovative future" for education.

Carol Hamilton, SBC's executive member for children and young people, said "considerable research" had gone into the proposals.

"It is important that SBC offers education that benefits all, and that all learners are given equal opportunities, regardless of where they live," she added.

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