Borders Party proposes ‘Guiding Stars’ for schools

The Borders Party has outlined plans to encourage schools to make use of the broad range of talented people living in the area.

The idea is that the council would invite inspiring Borderers to become ‘Guiding Stars’, who would be available to address schoolchildren, telling them about their lives and how they have achieved success.

“The Borders is full of interesting men and women who have achieved great things in their lives – sportsmen, musicians, businessmen, writers, comedians, soldiers and even the odd politician,” explained Nicholas Watson, leader of the Borders Party.

“Some grew up here and others have moved here because the Borders is a wonderful place to be. All have a story to tell that would inspire our children.”

Legend veteran Scottish international rugby player Doddie Wier, who has often given his time to help children, endorsed the plan. He added: “It’s not just about people’s jobs or hobbies - people who have beaten addiction or lived through extraordinary circumstances have amazing stories to tell too, it would be a great club to be in!”

The party has asked Borderers to get in touch to suggest inspirational figures to become Guiding Stars.

Mr Watson said: “We’d love to hear from the public via e-mail or phone. This initiative is the sort of way in which the council could help schools without meddling in their affairs. It would cost next to nothing, and help teachers to inspire their pupils and act as a valuable resource for them to draw upon.

“The cost of school trips has hugely increased, with transport becoming particularly expensive, so it would be good to get interesting people to schools as well as schools out on interesting trips.”

The party stressed that the idea sat well with its philosophy of giving schools as much independence from council control as possible.

Councillor Sandy Aitchison added: “The council should help schools without controlling their every move.

“We want teachers to be left to teach, with heads gaining maximum leeway over staff recruitment, budgets and the running of their schools.

“With plenty of people on the list it would be easy for schools to find someone to speak, even at short notice.

“Education is all about inspiring children, and this initiative is designed to help with that.”