End of era as school swaps site

An aerial view of Duns Primary school with all the pupils in the playground.
An aerial view of Duns Primary school with all the pupils in the playground.

Duns Primary School pupils have been having a look around their new school this week before starting there after the summer holidays.

There was great excitement about the new facility, in the old Berwickshire High School building after an £8.6m makeover. The edge was slightly taken off that excitement, though, when parents of 10 Gavinton-based pupils at Duns Primary School thought that their children were not being issued with bus passes for the new term, but their fears turned out to be groundless.

Inquiries to Scottish Borders Council revealed that transport will still be available for Gavinton pupils to and from school.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “Passenger transport has advised that the pupils will continue to be provided with a pass.

“The issue has been the printing of the passes for this group of pupils, and they will be issued directly to home addresses not via the school.”

In a letter of complaint, a Gavinton parent also highlighted the lack of footpath along the A6105 to the school, and that has been the subject of considerable discussion between parents and the school for some time now, with no resolution arrived at yet.

Back in 2013, when parents were being consulted about the new school development, they raised the issue of safety for primary-age pupils walking to the new building, and their concerns have continued as the work progressed on the old high school building.

Duns Community Council has also questioned the safety aspect of parking arrangements at the new primary.

The SBC spokesperson added: “There has been an extension to the boardwalk at the rear of the high school up to the A6105 to give pedestrians the option of using an off road route to/from the town centre.

“Over the summer the A6105 will also have its width reduced by building out on both sides to create a crossing point where the school crossing patrol will be on duty.

“The part time 20mph limit will also be extended to the west of the school and reduced to the east of the school as the old primary school closes.

“In addition, every primary school child will be provided with a high viz vest to wear to/from school.”