Crunch day for Hutton
school is approaching. Very shortly (11th November)the Borders Councillors will meet to vote on the proposed closure of both Hutton and Burnmouth. Each school will be allowed a ten minute presentation to the Councillors and then the vote will be taken. Like the US Election it is felt that the matter could go either way-and indeed there is a possibility that one school could be saved and the other closed. Hutton if axed will be able to appeal to the Scottish Executive as there is no other primary school within 5 miles. The School Action Group has prepared individual letters to all the Councillors as a last gasp petition. The present school roll of 12 is a strong minus point but there are a significant number of pre school children in the area who could bump up numbers next year and the year after-the school roll has varied considerably over the past two decades-from under 11 to about 38. But the Border Education people are all for 'rationalisation' and the number crunchers favour the economy of scale so little schools like Hutton and Burnmouth are an irritation and an embarrassment to the accountants and the planners obsessed with their vision of 'a school for the future' For our parents the future is now and believe that their children are being well taught and would like a satisfactory status quo to be maintained as long as maybe.
As for an appeal to the Scottish Executive/ Parliament-I am not too optimistic. The Executive has handed down guide lines on schools which is not too dissimilar to those already allegedly being followed by the Borders. Buzzwords like Viability and Quality (by which they mean well equipped buildings) abound. And I also worry that a school which is saved by a political decision against the wishes of the local authorities will have considerable problems in working with people whose judgment has been questioned and overturned. Hutton school struggling on with no new investment will eventually be a worse deal for the children than having it closed. Fingers crossed for the 11th. There is not much else we can do.