Leader Valley School opens its doors to pupils and staff

Entrance to a school building

Published: Thursday, 16th February 2017

The recently completed Leader Valley School in Earlston formally opened its doors on Thursday 16 February when staff and pupils enjoyed their first day in the new premises.

The £1.7million school has been purpose built to provide specialist education for the primary aged children who previously attended the spectrum classes at Wilton (Hawick) and St Ronan’s (Innerleithen).

Education for children with profound and complex needs

Leader Valley will provide an enhanced level of provision for children with the most profound and complex needs in the Scottish Borders with all the educational and wellbeing benefits that this will bring. The new environment will:

  • support the learning and welfare of pupils
  • provide opportunities for staff to share advice, guidance and professional learning opportunities with colleagues working elsewhere in the service, including locality enhanced support provisions, mainstream schools and in outreach specialist teams.

Links with Earlston schools

There are plans to create links with the nearby primary and secondary schools in Earlston. This will provide further life and learning skills for Leader Valley pupils and also support integration into mainstream schooling and with transition planning to adult services.

Councillor Sandy Aitchison, Executive Member for Education

“This is an extremely auspicious day for everyone who has been involved in this project and I am absolutely delighted that pupils and staff have now experienced their first day at Leader Valley School. The facility will be a wonderful resource, not only for the pupils and staff who will be attending, but also for parents, professionals and the wider community.

“Getting to this point has been quite a journey but this school is the result of our desire to provide the best we can for these children and parents and is certainly a project that I am particularly proud to have been part of. I wish everyone well in the days and weeks to come as they settle in to their new premises and make it their own.”

Open afternoon 28 February, 3.30-5.30pm

The school is holding an open afternoon on Tuesday 28 February from 3.30-5.30pm to which parents, professionals and members of the local Earlston community are being invited to view the new premises. There will be a tour of the building and a chance to speak to:

  •  staff working in the new facility
  •  staff who were part of the project team involved in its development.

More information

  • Images are available on Flickr.
  • Approval to close the provisions at Wilton Primary School and St Ronan’s Primary School was given by Council on 22 December.
  • Confirmation that the Scottish Government will not issue a call-in notice under the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 with regard to this decision was issued on 2 February 2017. The confirmation letter is available on the Scottish Government website.
  • The school was designed by our Architect’s Section who provided project management, design, contract administration and clerk of works services for the project. Landscape architectural design was also provided by our staff.

To find out more about the school or if you would like to attend the open evening, contact Children and Young People’s Services online or on 01835 825080.