Councillors back school week change

PERSUADED that it would benefit the education of pupils, councillors have agreed to a new school week that will finish at lunchtime on Fridays.

All nine secondary school headteachers are said to be in favour of the change, as are the majority of primary heads.

But childcare is a major concern for many parents.

Attempts to have the half day finish switched to a Wednesday were unsuccessful at last week’s meeting, as was a motion to defer a decision until more information was available on how the Friday afternoon will be spent, transport arrangements and how savings will be made.

Councillor Catriona Bhatia said: “Children come first, teachers and parents second.

“Will this improve education for our children in the Borders? We have heard from teachers that it will. That’s what we owe to our children.

“But I think parents need to be reassured. We can’t just sweep aside their concerns. I don’t think parents understand the benefits this will have for their children.”

Less than a third of parent councils responded to the consultation, which Councillor George Turnbull suggested was because it was seen as “a done deal”.

“I broadly support the proposition but there are many outstanding issues to be firmed up,” he added.