Council thanks emergency services and community for Peebles High fire response as work continues for days ahead

View of fire-damaged building

Published: Monday, 02nd December 2019

The Convener of Scottish Borders Council has thanked the emergency services and the local community for its response to the fire which caused significant damage to Peebles High School.

Following last Thursday’s fire, control of the school site was handed back to us on Saturday afternoon by the emergency services, with the process of returning personal belongings to staff and pupils beginning on Sunday.

Due to the extent of the damage to the school, predominantly in the old gymnasium, art classrooms and surrounding areas, Peebles High will remain closed until at least the Christmas break.

Plans for face-to-face teaching

Work has been ongoing over the weekend and today (Monday 2 December) to put in place plans to provide specialist support for pupils this week and ensure we maximise the opportunities to continue learning and provide specific support for students preparing for prelim exams.

This will continue tomorrow and an update will be provided to pupils, parents and carers on Tuesday. We expect to be able to put in place face-to-face teaching for all year groups from Monday 9 December.

We are exploring all options for accommodating pupils in alternative locations, including within Peebles and Galashiels. We will communicate full details of these plans as soon as possible.

Arrangements to provide specialist support to pupils this week through drop-in sessions and telephone support are being finalised. Information on these will also be made available as soon as we can.

Pupils can utilise the Show My Homework App, Scholar and Glow to work from home during the rest of this week.

Councillor David Parker, Convener of SBC

“This has been a devastating incident for Peebles High School’s pupils and staff and the local community.

“However, without the magnificent efforts of firefighters, it could have been significantly worse in terms of damage to the school estate.

“Crews worked tirelessly to contain the fire for almost 24 hours, with up to 70 firefighters on the scene, highlighting the extent of the fire.

“During and in the aftermath of this challenging incident, the community of Peebles has also stepped forward to support the emergency services and the school.

“During the overnight fire we saw local people providing food, soup and hot drinks to the crews, while a local church opened its doors to pupils and staff and a local supermarket provided them with food.

“We have also seen offers of assistance from businesses, including a local hotel who has agreed to host Peebles High’s senior dance this week.

“On behalf of the Council, I thank all who have provided generous support during this extremely difficult incident for Peebles community.”

Updates for pupils and parents

We will continue to communicate regularly with parents and carers and thank them for their understanding and co-operation with this challenging incident.

Updates are being provided at www.scotborders.gov.uk/PHSfire