PARENT leaders at a primary used as an example for volunteer-run school libraries have slammed the education department's recent pilot project to ditch trained staff.

We revealed last month how the contracts of librarians at three secondary schools - Galashiels Academy, Peebles High and Kelso High - had been terminated.

And they had been replaced by volunteers and pupils.

Part of Scottish Borders Council's reasoning for the cost-cutting move was based on two volunteer led school libraries - Peebles High and Priorsford Primary - having already been a success.

Staff and parents at Peebles High have already rubbished the claims, stating that hours were cut, vandalism occurred and pupils stopped using the service while the librarian had been absent due to a broken leg.

And now the Parent Council of Priorsford has also hit out at being used as an example.

In an open letter the Parent Council state: "While we are delighted that our volunteer run library has been so successful, we are extremely disappointed that our school library, run and operated by parents for several years, is being used an example of how this could work in a high school context.

"There are two main issues with using Priorsford Primary School library as an example.

"Firstly, the difference between a primary school - for 400, four-to-12 year olds - and secondary school library - for 1200 teenagers - and secondly the fact that it continues to be extremely challenging to keep the Priorsford parent-run library functioning."

Councillors voted through the pilot scheme earlier this year with a view to it being rolled out to all nine secondary schools.

But professional organisations and unions have now slammed the decision since we broke the story.

Priorsford parents believe their library was used as an example after council leader Shona Haslam and fellow Tweeddale councillor Robin Tatler were given a tour.

The letter adds: "We recently invited local Councillors for a tour of our library, following a successful application from the Scottish Library Improvement Fund for over £4000 to improve our resources.

"Our volunteer librarians emphasised to councillors Haslam and Tatler that, despite up to 100 volunteer hours in total going into this very successful improvement project, it was unsustainable without a part-time paid librarian.

"We are therefore frustrated to learn our success has been misrepresented as the basis for the new pilot."