Plans to replace Jedburgh’s secondary school and two primaries with a single learning campus for pupils of all ages have been unveiled.
And parents have been told that the new combined campus, proposed to occupy a central site in Hartrigge Park, could be up and running by 2020.
“The potential impact of this development on our pupils and our town is fantastic,” said Susan Oliver, headteacher of Jedburgh Grammar School.
The need to improve education provision in the town was highlighted a year ago when Scottish Borders Council held a preliminary public consultation on the future of its entire school estate.
Parents and pupils in the clusters around the nine secondaries in the region were asked for their views.
And 75% of all the responses came from Jedburgh, currently served by 440-pupil Jedburgh Grammar, 210-pupil Parkside Primary and 150-pupil Howdenburn Primary.
Existing provision in the town was roundly criticised for the poor condition of its buildings and facilities, and in September last year, the council agreed that feasibility studies should be carried out to consider options for improvement.
Two public consultation events were held at the High Street grammar school this week, and in a letter to parents, urging them to attend those sessions events, Donna Manson, the council’s service director for children and young people, revealed the results of that research.
“The council has the vision of delivering a single inter-generational learning campus which will provide nursery, primary and secondary education for children from two to 18,” stated Ms Manson.
“There will also be facilities for children with additional support needs.
“The campus will have the have the very best sporting and PE facilities, exceptional playground and outdoor learning provision, state-of-the-art classrooms and learning spaces, the very best IT infrastructure and first-class leisure and dining spaces.
“The campus will be designed to strengthen Jedburgh as a learning town where children and people of all ages can grow and learn together.
“The council views the campus as an essential community asset and believes it will bring many fantastic educational and wider community learning benefits to people of all ages.”
Ms Manson said detailed designs, site analysis and preparatory work had already commenced and the council had secured the advice of leading architects.
“The council would aim to deliver this vision by 2020,” she says.
“There is a great deal of work to be carried out, and we need the support of the whole community to deliver this fantastic opportunity within the council’s timeline.”
Ms Manson said the authority would conduct a statutory consultation in May and June on the permanent closures of Parkside and Howdenburn primaries and Jedburgh Grammar.
A decision on those closures would then by taken by the council and sent to the Scottish Government for approval.
She expects the council to make a decision on the procurement of the single Jedburgh campus in October and for site construction to commence in time for the 2020 delivery timescale to be met, she says.