Reassurances given over privacy concerns at new Jedburgh Grammar Campus

Assurances over the safety of youngsters at the region’s first intergenerational campus, due to open next year, are being offered.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 5:28 pm
The £32m Jedburgh Grammar Campus is due to open in spring 2020.

That pledge comes after some concerns were voiced over exactly how much freedom adults and children will be given to mix at the forthcoming Jedburgh Grammar Campus when it opens next March.

Though the £32m facility has been widely welcomed by townsfolk, there have been some grumblings over how the open-plan shared space layout of the building at Hartrigge Park will operate.

The facility will serve infants as young as two and teenagers up to the age of 18, as well as providing further education and community facilities including a library and sports facilities for adults.

Overseeing the campus come March will be the secondary school’s current headteacher, Susan Oliver.

“It’s quite an open area already,” Mrs Oliver told the town’s community council at its latest meeting.

“We are not envisaging that being an issue, but we know this is something that parents have said is a concern for them from day one.

“There are areas that are open to the public, and we’re hugely excited by that.

“We want to see different age groups coming in and working together and hopefully breaking down barriers.

“However, I think what’s really important to stress is that there are areas that are sectioned off and that the community won’t have access to.”

The main campus includes an open plaza entrance with access to community facilities such as a library, café and drop-in area.

The 2G and 3G sports pitches, rural skills area, multi-use games area, 100m running track and external changing pavilion will all also be available for community use.

It is yet to be confirmed, but indications so far are that charity Live Borders, currently responsible for running most of the region’s libraries, museums and sporting facilities, will operate the parts of the campus open for community use.

Mrs Oliver added: “There will be a management of how folk can use the facilities and there will need to be a booking system in terms of the likes of sporting facilities and access to meeting areas, but the idea that people will be able to come in and just look around is a really exciting one for us.

“Of course, there will be certain areas that will not be open to the public.”

The campus will include some open-plan class rooms, a general reception which will direct people to individual entrances to nursery, primary and secondary areas, and, potentially, unisex toilets.

This week, a local authority spokesman assured us accessibility and privacy is something being taken into account.

He said: “While the arrangements for the toilets are still being finalised, privacy for pupils will be maintained.

“Arrangements will be in place at the new campus to ensure educational facilities are not accessible for members of the public during school hours.”

The school, given its name in July after a public vote, is the first of its kind in the region, and the local authority, funding the facility with help from the Scottish Government, believes the new-style of learning there will provide a “brilliant environment” for students and adults alike.

“To see this project coming on so quickly is incredibly exciting,” council leader Shona Haslam said. “The school is full of light and large classrooms with amazing views.

“It will be a brilliant environment not only to learn but for the whole community to enjoy.”

The campus will replace the existing Jedburgh Grammar School as well as Howdenburn and Parkside primary schools and nurseries, the latter of which was demolished in the summer.