Parents threatening to boycott Hawick High School

Hawick councillor Clair Ramage outside Hawick High School.
Hawick councillor Clair Ramage outside Hawick High School.

Some Hawick parents are threatening to send their children to school elsewhere rather than enrol them at Hawick High School this autumn.

This was the message relayed to Hawick Community Council this week amid discussions on the ongoing antisocial behaviour, which saw police drafted into the school in December and some pupils later sent on “alternative education” placements away from the school.

Community councillor Greg McLeod said: “Some of the kids that have been back, weren’t back two minutes and were causing problems. Something that is concerning me is a group of mums with primary seven kids have got together and are discussing the possibility of taking their kids to Jedburgh school.”

The idea of parents choosing a 20-mile round trip to Jedburgh, where a new school will be built by 2020, over sending their children to the Buccleuch Road school, did not sit well with the town’s councillors.

Hawick councillor Clair Ramage, a former Hawick High School teacher, fears that parents actions are being affected by them not being given a fair chance to share their frustrations.

She said: “I was at the last parent council meeting and parents were not given space to talk. They have left that meeting totally frustrated and gone to social media because they need to air their views. We have to accept there is a problem and not just paper over it.”

However, fellow councillor Davie Paterson, who attended a meeting with those parents involved on Tuesday, disagrees.

He said: “There was a lot of concerns about the item that was mentioned at the community council meeting. I personally felt that the negative comments that were made at the community council did absolutely nothing to enhance the reputation of the school and nothing for the moral of all the hard working, teachers, council staff and councillors working long hours, some until 1am, to try and turn this present station around.

“There are a lot of positive things happening at the school and things are looking up, but some people feel that ill informed comments are undermining all the hard work that everyone is doing.”

Fellow Hawick councillor George Turnbull added that there is no magic wand or quick fix for the problem.

“I can assure you that the situation is being taken very seriously. Unfortunately nobody has got the magic want, it’s not going to happen overnight. I cannot make any promises and neighter can my colleagues but there is a concentrated effort to get us back to where we should be.”