Future of Ettrick school building to be discussed

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ETTRICK and Yarrow Valley residents will meet at the end of the month to discuss ideas for Ettrick School, writes Sally Gillespie.

What was the smallest school in the Scottish Borders – with a roll of three last year – will not open for the next school session because there are no pupils.

And before Scottish Borders Council (SBC) consults about the school’s future, Revitalising Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys project officer Julie Nock is calling a meeting at Boston Hall on July 30 for all valleys residents.

“There is a lot of concern in the community about what is going to happen at the school and I wanted to get everybody together so everyone can air their views and see if something can come out of it,” she explained.

She met SBC education chief Glenn Rodger and the council’s head of property management Andrew Drummond-Hunt last week and said the council was happy to work with the community on the issue.

In a letter to residents, Ms Nock said: “Normally in this situation, SBC would go into a 90-day consultation process to either mothball or close the school.

“However, we do have the option to find another purpose for the building and act as caretakers until such time as there is enough of a population to reopen the school.”

And she concluded: “In the short term, I feel we should all get together to discuss options for the building and to hear people’s views. SBC are happy to give us time to work out what we would like to do before the consultation process begins.”

A spokesperson for SBC said: “At this stage no decisions have been made regarding the long-term future of Ettrick Primary School. As there will be no pupils next session, discussions with the Director of Education and Lifelong Learning and the community are ongoing on the best use for the school building.”