Pledge on PE teaching gap

It has emerged that six local primary schools are currently without the services of a qualified PE teacher.

The issue was raised at last week’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council by Jedburgh councillor Sandy Scott, who said there had been a vacancy for a PE teacher at the town’s Howdenburn Primary since the beginning of the current term.

He asked when this would be filled and how many other schools were in the same boat.

Councillor Sandy Aitchison, executive member for education, said the part-time job had been advertised twice, but failed to attract any applicants.

Howdenburn’s PE requirement has been carried out by a supply teacher and a class teacher each taking one hour a week.

Mr Aitchison said the model of provision the council was trying to create was the one used at Jedburgh’s other primary, Parkside, which shares a full-time PE teacher with Jedburgh Grammar and Ancrum Primary.

“There are currently five other primary schools where this situation has developed and the [education] department is working towards a resolution,” he said.

SBC says it was satisfied with the level of PE teaching cover in the five schools until post holder Craig Anderson, currently on secondment to SBC headquarters, returns next year.