­Consultation was on a done deal

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The results of a consultation on proposed changes to the school week are in. But despite the “vast majority” of the 5,000-plus respondents raising concerns, the council is set to go ahead and introduce a four-and-a-half day week in August.

Many of those 5,000 Borderers will no doubt now be asking themselves why they bothered filling in the online form or going along to one of the meetings on the matter when it appears their views will be ignored.

The council has done itself no favours with a rushed consultation process on an issue which affects every school pupil in the area, their parents, school staff, bus firms and other businesses.

It seems to have been driven by a desire to have the asymmetric school week implemented this August, despite it being unclear where savings will be made this year, as changes at a national level will be required to enable teacher numbers to be cut.

With no clear idea of the costs involved in implementing the changes, ranging from altering transport arrangements to improvements to IT systems, and training to enable e-learning, it seems optimistic to think that £500,000 will be saved in the first year.

At the end of the day, it appears the council was determined to make the change, come what may, so now we just have to wait and see if the much-vaunted savings materialise.