EDUCATION bosses are locked in a legal stand-off following a knife incident at a primary school in Peeblesshire.

And both parents and staff at the rural centre are calling for Scottish Borders Council to back down and exclude the pupil.

Newlands Primary is believed to be the only local authority school in Scotland which is partly owned by the community - and it was opened with Royal approval seven years ago.

To prevent the rural classrooms closing more than a decade ago, a community trust was formed to create required additional facilities on neighbouring land.

And since 2012 the arrangement which allows Scottish Borders Council to lease the dining hall, gym, kitchen facilities and sports field at the Newlands Centre has worked well.

But following the knife incident within the kitchen area on Wednesday, January 30, which saw staff from both the school and centre allegedly threatened with a catering knife, directors of the Newlands Community Development Trust are demanding that the child is banned.

Education chiefs at Scottish Borders Council have so far ignored the demands, stating that increased safety measures are now in place.

A letter from the directors of Newlands Community Development Trust was sent to all parents this week.

It states: "We have made representations to SBC that reintroducing the child involved in this incident to the Centre, which is utilised by the Primary School, would leave pupils, teaching staff, Centre staff, Centre users and the wider community vulnerable to any repeat incident.

"We have a duty of care to all users of the Centre to ensure their security and safety whilst on the premises."

More than £2 million was raised by the Newlands Community Development Trust to create the new facilities near West Linton and save the primary school from closing.

And Royalty, in the shape of the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, travelled to Tweeddale to officially open the new buildings.

For the past seven years the tenancy arrangement has worked well with the NCDT offering additional activities outwith classroom hours for school and nursery children.

And the primary's roll has steadily grown from around 50 back in 2012 to today's figure of around 80, with a growing number of children enrolling in the adjoining nursery.

Directors of the Trust are due to meet with the local authority's chief education officer Michelle Strong as well as Scottish Borders Council lawyers on Monday regarding the stand off.

One director told us: "Scottish Borders Council, like everyone else who uses the Newlands Centre, signs up to our terms and conditions.

"Parents and other members of the community are behind us on this and they are now making their own demands to Scottish Borders Council - nobody should be in danger when using the Centre."

Scottish Borders Council, like many local authorities, have an inclusion policy for all children to be educated in mainstream settings despite any behavioural issues.

And bosses at Newtown St Boswells believe that further security steps being implemented at Newlands will reduce any risk of future incidents.

An education spokesman said: "We would like to reassure everyone that the safety of pupils, staff and partners is of paramount importance and that steps have been taken to ensure a safe and positive working environment for all at Newlands Primary.

"Any decision about whether a child can attend a school is made by Scottish Borders Council only, in accordance with our statutory duties, education policies and national guidelines.”

Newlands Primary School first opened its doors in 1876 and was amalgamated with both Lamancha and Kirkurd primaries during the 1980s.

But the primary twice faced closure in the early 2000s as the local authority targeted rural schools with falling rolls in a bid to save money.

The community reaction, which started in 2003, and new arrangement is believed to unique across the whole of Scotland.

Despite the previous joint-working and good relations between the Newlands community and Scottish Borders Council, this latest incident has created a chasm.

Neil Clunie is employed by the Newlands Community Development Trust to manage the Newlands Centre.

He told us: "We compliment what the school has to offer by providing ancillary activities and that makes Newlands a much more attractive option for parents to send their children.

"We have been working well in partnership but, like any organisation, we have to protect the people who are using our facility.

"Whether it's a sports club, a wedding reception or any event, whoever is hiring the facilities have to agree to our terms and conditions - and that also applies to the school use.

"It is imperative that we uphold our duty of care for all users."

The knife incident was reported to Police Scotland.