Shooting the messenger is no answer

We certainly upset a few readers with our front page coverage last week of the exam results from Jedburgh Grammar School.

Councillors Jim Brown and Rory Stewart were outraged at our sensational headline. Read it again Messrs Brown and Stewart. We said: “Jedburgh head teacher defends exam results”. By no stretch of the imagination – even that of councillors – can that be construed as sensational.

Former teacher Tony Rae writes of his shock, indignation, anger, incredulity and sadness – not at the exam results but because we reported on them. The parent council accuses us of targeting the school to create a headline.

Let us be very clear, we did not make up those statistics. They were put into the public domain by Scottish Borders Council (Brown and Stewart included). They may now have been taken down from its website, no doubt as a result of outside pressure, but they were published.

As a local newspaper of repute for more than 150 years, it is our job to ask questions when the figures don’t stack up and that’s what we did. And we’ll keep on asking those questions.

Many people might not have been happy to see the story in black and white, but if you stop to think about it, you will realise this wasn’t about targeting the school and its teachers, this was about holding a system to account, where cutbacks and changes at government level may have impacted on our children’s education.