Kelso schools pledge given

A councillor says he has been assured local primary schools, at least in the Kelso area, are not threatened with merger as part of the planned £11.5million cuts in Scottish Borders Council’s education budget.

Councillor Simon Mountford claims the pledge was made at a recent meeting between councillors and education staff.

“Glenn Rodger, director of education and lifelong learning, assured me there are no plans to merge any of the area’s primary schools,” said Mr Mountford. “This is particularly welcome in Yetholm and Morebattle, where there were fears the villages’ schools – which already share a headteacher– might be forced to combine on one site. In Kelso, it means Edenside and Broomlands schools are unaffected.”

Mr Mountford said schools in other parts of the Borders were not discussed, but there was an “inferred presumption” against mergers.

But asked to comment, SBC said: “The meeting last week was to brief an elected member reference group on a range of review areas that officers and headteachers have been working on and therefore no decisions or assurances were appropriate to be given.”

Mr Mountford says he appreciates no cast-iron promises were made.

“But, as things stand, I was told that there are no plans for mergers,” he added.