No border to a good education

Eyemouth High School
Eyemouth High School

Over 100 English school pupils are crossing the England/Scotland border each day to go to school in Eyemouth.

Scottish Borders Council has confirmed that 110 pupils with an English address are being educated here in the Borders, at Eyemouth High School.

A damning report on the school’s close English neighbour Berwick Academy, recently labelled ‘inadequate’ by England’s education watchdog Ofsted and the academy’s exam results falling into the bottom 10% of schools in England, may increase the flow of pupils north of the border.

The academy was placed into special measures following the resignation of headteacher Alexis Widdowson earlier this year.

A council spokesperson said: “Scottish Borders Council does not have a policy on accepting pupils from England. However, we do have a duty to consider all placement requests received. All applications are considered and decisions made based on specific criteria outlined in our admissions policy.

“We currently have 110 pupils who attend one of our schools who have an English address. Placement request decisions are based on available space within the school. If there isn’t capacity, then no placement request is accepted, whether that is a child living in Scotland or England.

“There is no reciprocal arrangement with neighbouring councils. We have little evidence to suggest traffic flow in the other direction.”

The pupils’ education is funded by the council, but for children needing additional support the local authority responsible for where they live would be asked to pay any additional costs.

No financial assistance is requested if no additional support is required.

The council also confirmed that youngsters living south of the border but being educated here are entitled to pupil equity funding, not available in England, if they meet financial eligibility criteria.

Berwickshire High also takes pupils from England but so far not in the same numbers as those opting to go to Eyemouth.