Education chiefs at Scottish Borders Council have assured councillors that what they describe as a holistic approach to the ongoing problems facing Hawick High School is making progress.
Last year, anti-social and threatening behaviour from some pupils worsened to the extent that the council was forced to call in the police to patrol the corridors of the Buccleuch Road school.
Education bosses also sent some unruly pupils to work in nearby primary schools as punishment and drafted in four new youth workers and a deputy headteacher to stem the tide of anti-social behaviour.
At a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s executive today, Donna Manson, the authority’s outgoing service director for children and young people, told councillors that since then multi-agency meetings have taken place to explore the issue saying: “We’ve had our challenges, but I know there’s a difference now as I see these schools day by day.
“I was delighted to be at a meeting last night at Hawick High School and to see the progress that has been made there. I literally phoned home I was so pleased with the progress.
“I was delighted that we had a range of partners around the table at the meeting last night, and we were talking together, not just about what we are doing in the school but how we’re working in the community.
“Sitting with the head of the community action team, we were talking about what we need to do next and our whole holistic approach.
“There were social workers at the table and education workers at the table, and that’s what it’s all about – getting everybody around the table.”
Reacting to that news, Hawick and Hermitage councillor Watson McAteer said he was pleased to see progress being made at the school, adding: “I was reassured to hear the council’s service director for children and young people confirm that a positive multi-agency meeting has taken place at Hawick High School this week.
“This approach has been called for, and if recent exposure of the problems impacting on students, teachers and parents has been instrumental in bringing these key professionals together, then I believe we are taking a positive step in the right direction.
“It is only a very small number of pupils who are at the heart of the current problems, and this joint approach is the way to effectively tackle the disproportionate problems they cause.”