Council deserves praise for Catholic schools effort

THIS week’s decision by members of Scottish Borders Council’s education committee to appoint one single headteacher for the region’s four Roman Catholic primary schools is to be applauded.

It might not be, as the Roman Catholic Church said, an ideal strategy and, yes, in a perfect world it would be great if every single school, no matter how small, could have its own headteacher.

But that’s not the real world in which we live now. A number of local schools already have to share their ‘heads’ with partner schools.

The local authority appears to have bent over backwards in its efforts to satisfy all the interested parties, while at the same time placing the actual quality of education of the children who attend these schools at the top of its priority list.

But if, 12 months down the road, the plan has not delivered the hoped-for results then education officials at Newtown St Boswells will have to look again at the situation.

And it may be then that the thorny issue of whether small single faith primaries can still have a place in Borders education and how that scenario can continue to be sustained or otherwise might have to be addressed.

But until that discussion does become necessary, let us all who belong to the communities which these four schools serve, get behind them and give them our support where possible.

These schools are open to all children, regardless of faith, and as such should be regarded as valuable contributors to the life of their Borders communities.