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Early February return anticipated for all Peebles pupils

It is anticipated that all Peebles High School pupils will return to the school over 3 and 4 February following the fire at the end of November, which resulted in temporary learning and teaching arrangements being put in place.

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) has confirmed that it is planning for all S4-S6 to return to Peebles High School on Monday 3 February after their preliminary exams finish on 31 January.

They are also planning for all S1-S3 pupils to return back to Peebles High School on Tuesday 4 February. S1-S3 pupils will be asked to work from home on the 3rd to ensure that the return to the High School site is managed in a safe and practical way. Work will be provided to all S1-S3 pupils on the Show my Homework app and Glow.

Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Council, Tracey Logan, said: “We have continued to work right up to Christmas and in the days since to put plans in place to have all pupils back at Peebles High School as soon as possible. This includes the provision of temporary classrooms in the High School’s grounds and preparations for these are well underway.

“Although work continues, we are now fairly confident that, all going well, all pupils will be able to return to Peebles High School over the two days of 3 and 4 February. This still depends on a number of factors but with the help and support of a huge range of staff and partners, we are very optimistic that we can achieve this.

“We would like to give parents and carers as much notice as possible; this includes the decision to ask S1-S3 pupils to work from home on Monday 3 February. The logistics of moving from the temporary sites and preparing the new arrangements are hugely challenging and the safety and well-being of pupils is our priority. As such, the operation to move from the temporary sites from Friday lunchtime over the weekend and into Monday needs to be carefully planned and managed.

“I am delighted that we are in such a positive position so quickly given the scale of the challenge.  We will continue to work on the details around these plans and will keep pupils, parents and staff updated as we make more progress.”

Some areas of the site will remain out of bounds due to fire damage or recovery work on site, however pupils will be safely accommodated in unaffected areas of the main building, with additional temporary classroom space being put in place and new timetables created.

Prior to Christmas, the Council confirmed that all prelim exams would take place on the Peebles High School campus from Monday 13 January to Friday 31 January.

When pupils return from the Christmas break on Monday 6 January the current interim teaching and transport arrangements will remain in place with S1-S3 pupils accommodated within Peebles. The S4-S6 year groups will be taught in Galashiels from 6 to 9 January until prelim exam leave starts on Friday 10 January.

Tracey Logan said: “We have fully considered all aspects of the transport provision and I can honestly say we have done our utmost to ensure it is as smooth as possible. There are now only four days of travel for the pupils based in Galashiels before study leave begins. Therefore, we have made the decision to keep the current arrangements in place for those four days as this will allow us to concentrate on delivering on our commitment to return all pupils to Peebles High School by 4 February.”

All locations being used for temporary teaching, with the exception of the Drill Hall which will be retained as a back-up venue, will be returned to Live Borders and community use from 31 January.

Ms Logan added: “Once again I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who has supported the Council and Peebles High School during this extremely challenging period, and of course to all the pupils, parents and staff for their patience during this time.

“The support of our partners Live Borders and CGI, numerous contractors and the local community has been invaluable.

“I’d also like to publicly thank all my staff who have worked so hard since 28 November to get us to this position.”

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