Executive asked to approve next steps for Council’s school estate review

Jedburgh

Published: Wednesday, 1st November 2017

Elected members are being asked to approve a report that provides an update on progress made with the school estate review and outlines proposals for the next steps.

They are first of all being asked to amend the strategic principles that guide the school estate review. These will now have the long term aim of delivering intergenerational learning opportunities and outcomes for all ages within a community. The recommendation is based on:

  • the very successful outcome of Scottish Government partnership funding to deliver an intergenerational community learning campus in Jedburgh
  • our developing approach to community empowerment and connectivity with its focus on change, improvement and support being centred in localities.

Service Director Children and Young People, Donna Manson

“What we are looking for from this first proposal is to set the foundation for the future provision of education in the Scottish Borders, where 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.”

Review of secondary provision

The report asks for approval to undertake a detailed assessment of Galashiels Academy, Hawick High, Peebles High and Selkirk High. Each will be considered in relation to their condition, suitability and capacity in order to prioritise the order of investment in the secondary estate over the next 10 to 15 years. The outcome will be brought back to the Executive Committee along with proposals to undertake consultations within each local community.

Review of primary provision

Assessment of the primary school estate already undertaken has identified that Earlston and Eyemouth are priorities for investment with the recommendation being that informal consultations take place regarding a vision for future provision of these two schools.

Agreement is also being sought to progress with the closure of the three mothballed primary schools (Eccles/Leitholm, Ettrick and Hobkirk) while a separate paper will recommend the closure of the nursery, secondary and specialist provision in Jedburgh as part of the establishment of a new intergenerational learning campus for the town.

Elected members are asked to note the progress made by the Rural Schools Action Plan and commend the contribution made by parents toward this. They are also to note that following engagement with parents and staff, a proposal to extend the catchment of Kirkhope Primary will be considered while a review of the overall transport policy will be forthcoming in 2017-18.

St Margaret's Roman Catholic School, Hawick

In a separate paper, approval is being sought to conduct a statutory consultation on the proposal to close St Margaret’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Hawick as part of the recently undertaken review of Roman Catholic provision in the Borders.

Service Director Children and Young People, Donna Manson

“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. If we are given agreement to proceed, they will considerably support our commitment to providing equity of provision across our school estate as best we can, as well as ensuring that our children and young people are given the highest quality learning and development opportunities that we can make available to them.

“They would also signal an exciting and innovative future for the provision of education in the Borders, encompassing all ages from our youngest to the more mature amongst us, and I look forward to discussing the recommendations with the Executive and to receiving their response.”

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People

“This review has been undertaken with considerable research and consultation so that our children and the wider community can have the best places for learning. We want our communities to be able to come together to enjoy opportunities for developing new skills, undertaking training and accessing new technology. It is important that SBC offers education that benefits all, and that all learners are given equal opportunities, regardless of where they live.”

More information

The reports are available to download from our website