PARENTS of Selkirk’s only Catholic school say they have been reassured about its future after a crunch meeting with education chiefs this week.
St Joseph’s Primary has seen its roll dwindle to 19 pupils this term, resulting in the school losing one of its two teachers.
And many feared Scottish Borders Council’s ongoing consultation on Roman Catholic education in the Borders could be the beginning of the end for the Back Row primary.
However, fears have been quelled following Tuesday’s talks with SBC’s executive member for education Sandy Aitchison and its director of education Glenn Rodger.
Kerry Gentleman, who was the parent representative on the council’s review group which looked into problems surrounding head teacher recruitment and performance, said: “I did think the consultation was a cynical practice at first, but we have been reassured that the council are trying to address the issues affecting Catholic education in the Borders.
“I have always been very happy with the education my children have received at St Joseph’s and do not have major concerns that the school now only has one teacher.
“I think compared to other schools in the Borders, St Joseph’s pupils receive a very good education.
“We are hoping the consultation can lead to permanent staff being appointed in the Borders’ Catholic schools. Previously, the posts advertised have only been temporary and has put some potential candidates off.
“We are a small group of parents, but a loyal one, and we are doing everything we can to help raise St Joseph’s profile and support it.”
Councillor Aitchison says he aims to increase the number of pupils at St Joseph’s to get back its second teacher, and added that the council is in the process of finding a replacement for Lynda Jones, the shared head of St Joseph’s who leaves today (Friday).
He added: “The reduction of staff to a single teacher was controversial, but under the council’s management structure it had to be done.
“Mrs Jones was a temporary appointment, but has done a really good job.”