SBC gets ‘black mark’ for Stow school fence

Parents at Stow Primary School are worried that the new fence is unsafe for children
Parents at Stow Primary School are worried that the new fence is unsafe for children

The £40,000 perimeter fence erected around Stow Primary School has been slammed as “totally inadequate”.

Joanne McBeath, who has three children at the school and is a member of its parent council, is shocked at the cost and standard of the fence constructed over the summer.

The fence was agreed by Scottish Borders Council as part of a £97,000 package of safety measures at the school, which is adjacent to the new railway. But Mrs McBeath claimed the fence does not provide a safe boundary between the school and Station Road, which will get much busier when the railway opens next month.

She said: “It should also deter children from leaving school and accessing the station, but it’s totally inadequate with a large gap between the top and bottom horizontal bars which children can climb through with ease. This is symptomatic of the half-hearted attempts to tackle the challenges posed by the changed circumstances for the school.”

Community councillor Alistair Riddell agreed: “The kids can easily get through this fence – this has been a waste of money.”

SBC said the front perimeter fence is designed to prevent children running onto the road; direct visitors to the main entrance and divert rail passengers away from the school. Plus, new beech hedging will augment the fence.

Local Scottish Borders councillor Sandy Aitchison, executive member for education, added: “We’re aware of concerns of parents and are active in trying to resolve these issues.”