I have read a number of explanations for the recent changes to school hours.
I believe the official line from the educational establishment is that it is all to do with cost savings, efficiency and delivering more educational opportunities to pupils.
No-one I speak to round town believes this, and I am sure the real reason lies elsewhere.
But be that as it may, one consequence of the teachers’ four-and-a-half day week is that Kelso, and I assume other Borders towns, are now full, on Friday afternoons, of groups of pupils whose parents presumably have jobs that do not enjoy the same generous hours as teachers.
While the vast majority of these young people are perfectly well behaved, there have been a trickle of incidents in Kelso, so I assume elsewhere too, of what would nowadays be called antisocial behaviour – in my day, plain old yobboism.
Recently, I noted a large, noisy and boisterous group outside McColl’s newsagent conducting themselves in a way that was clearly intimidating to elderly shoppers and, while in the Kelso Co-op, witnessed a small group of lads being very lippy to staff and other customers, this seemingly now being a regular Friday afternoon occurrence.
Strange, is it not, that such obvious social fall-out was not considered when these changes were mooted.
Sadly, I can visualise the inevitable “why oh why” headlines when some more serious incident or accident arises and the resultant feigned surprise of the educational establishment.