Hobkirk parents welcome U-turn

Parents who won a battle to have school transport provided following the decision to close Hobkirk Primary have welcomed the decision.

Scottish Borders Council has agreed to put in place transport arrangements for families who moved children from Hobkirk to Denholm Primary during the last academic year.

The council declined to respond to allegations from parents that the decision to mothball Hobkirk Primary is a result of the failed implementation of a composite class structure introduced in August 2014 for P1 to P7 pupils.

Several families moved their children out of Hobkirk last year after their complaints about the new composite class structure were not resolved.

They say they were told free transport to take the remaining seven children to Denholm would not apply to families who moved children of their accord before the summer.

The council has, however, made a U-turn after being threatened with legal action.

Sheila Glen, who moved her three children out of Hobkirk to Denholm last year, said: “Common sense has prevailed. It is 11 miles one way for us, so this will make a huge difference.”

Ms Glen, who lives two miles outside Chesters village, moved her children from Hobkirk to Denholm in March.

“The composite class was not adequate and did not work. All my children were unhappy. Since moving to Denholm they have come on leaps and bounds.

“We complained, but everything we suggested was rejected. So we had to make a decision in the best interest of our children’s education. To then be denied transport was unfair.”

Another parent, Alison Curtis, moved her daughter, who is now in Primary 7,
 “The council created this situation,” she told us. “We were encouraged to move our daughter to Denholm and then denied transport costs.”

A council spokesperson said: “Transport arrangements will be put in place as soon as possible.”