Peebles High School: ‘Vocal minority’ leaves ‘unkind’ comments

Members were told last Thursday there were still concerns about what the Parents Council’s new build sub-group calls its open-plan classrooms.

Parents Council spokesperson Tristan Compton said: “A 27 per cent open plan still sounds like a bit too much.”

Tweeddale Councilor West Drummond Page, Liberal Democrat, referred to the open-plan classrooms as flexible spaces.

Mr Page said: “My only question going forward is that we’re being careful about language.

“This is a huge project and it is unlikely that there will be standardization across the entire community.

“There will be comments on social media showing bigotry and rudeness.

Can we get away from calling it an open plan?

“There are places and flexible spaces that aren’t really open.”

Tweeddale West Councilor Viv Thompson said: “We know these flexible spaces don’t have to be used every term.

“As teaching progresses, I hope we don’t close off opportunities.”

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) Project Manager Stephen Renwick added: “The building will be there for many generations to come.”

Mr Page added: “When speaking to folk (in schools elsewhere) I have been asked how Mandarin Chinese is taught in Peebles – we don’t, but it is taught in some areas of Scotland.

“There are great opportunities, but it’s possible that we don’t necessarily need 30 chairs in a classroom.”

Compton said he agrees with the way open space is described.

“I’ve always tried to stress that it’s about fluid space,” said Mr. Compton. “But if a room is inflexible, it is because it is open.”

Tweeddale East City Councilor Julie Perrone said she had another meeting with Heather Young of Deaf Children’s Group.

The meeting also heard that the EIA had not been completed and Ms. Young warned that the Basel Convention should not adopt a “check box” approach.

Peebles High School was an agenda item at West Linton Community Council on Monday night, but members did not comment further, although Mr Big said: “The school in the future will not look like the past and hopefully there will be room to evolve.”

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