Apparently the two meetings with the Director of Education duly took place last week. Judging from reports he can be in no doubt of the strength of feeling of the local community in support of keeping our school. We are now called upon to once more put our views in writing to him and to other people who might be able to help such as MSPs and MPs. One offer which apparently was not raised was the idea that if the school was to be closed it might be given to the Hall Committee as a possible site for an alternative village hall. This may be a bit of a trap(to weaken local opposition) if not a complete red herring. The school without the improvements which were scheduled to be done is hardly a suitable venue for a community centre. Nor is the ownership clear and it may not be in the gift of the Education Department-nor is it tactically wise to contemplate the school closing. First things first (A) Keep the school going and (b) reinstate the investment originally agreed upon to have the school working at the potential recommended by HMI.
Huttonian urges a writing campaign once again deploying the arguments aired at the previous meetings. I suggest picking up the positive about Hutton rather than rubbishing Chirnside as the alternative venue. Hutton has a good record. Closing it may have marginal financial benefits but not enough to justify such a drastic and final step damaging the integrity of a village community. I know of two sets of parents thinking of moving away from here if the school is to close. Nor is it sensible to contemplate Hutton being classified as a one teacher school with a roll of 19 or less. As is the apparent wish of the Borders Education department It has been down to about 7 (over 15 years ago) and since then up to nearly forty. Such fluctuations are normal in a small country area and two or three new families could make a significant diference to the school roll if it remains open. Hutton works. With the expansion as proposed and then withdrawn it would work even better. HMI has said so.
Speed is of the essence. Comments need to be in by the end of next week. So out with the quill and let Mr Glenn Rodger know what most of us think.