Scottish Borders Council has given approval to the permanent closure of Hobkirk Primary Schoool along with Ettrick and Eccles Leitholm.

The decision follows a statutory consultation process that was held in accordance with the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 for each of the three primaries earlier this year.

It has been agreed that each school will permanently close as of 20 December 2019 with the catchment area being permanently re-zoned from 21 December 2019. Hobkirk Primary will transfer to Denholm, Eccles Leitholm to Swinton and Ettrick to Kirkhope in Ettrickbridge.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, SBC’s Executive Member for Children and Young People, said: “The decision to close a school is never undertaken lightly and we would like to thank the three respective communities for their support and engagement as we have undertaken the consultation process. We fully understand their feedback expressing regret at the loss of their respective local schools, but appreciate their understanding of the factors that had to be taken into account when making our decision, such as demographic and other changes including different patterns of work and family life. We also appreciate the way in which pupils who have transferred to other schools have settled in, with parents reporting that they are happy with the learning experiences and opportunities their children are now receiving. The Ettrick Valley community can also be encouraged by the way in which this decision supports the future sustainability of Kirkhope Primary. The creation of an early learning and childcare centre has already attracted several children to the area with an increased roll being projected for the 2019/20 session, part of our ongoing commitment to maintaining a school in the Valley.”