A PEEBLESSHIRE village primary school is set to close after the pupils attending it fell to just four, it has emerged.

When members of Scottish Borders Council meet on Thursday (June 23) they will be asked to agree a recommendation to mothball Eddleston Primary School near Peebles.

The move comes as a result of only four pupils now attending the school, a figure so low that the “council/community consider that the school is not presently viable”.

However, it is hoped that the school, which opened in April 1992, may reopen in future if pupil numbers in the catchment area around it increase.

The recommendation is being made following a significant drop in the school roll.

At the start of the 2021/22 there were 24 pupils enrolled, which in accordance with Scottish Government regulations equated to a single composite class.

That small number resulted in placement requests being submitted by parents and pupil numbers continued to fall throughout the school year.

A report to be presented to the council from Lesley Munro, the director of education and lifelong learning, says council officers have been working closely with parents of the remaining pupils, who have now approached the authority to close the school until there are sufficient numbers for it to reopen.

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She adds: “It is clear that the community is keen to see the school reopen and there has been and will continue to be discussions with the community regarding the future of the school and the building.

“Families of children still attending the school have identified a number of issues relating to the size of the school and the effects on the children’s education. These include limited opportunities to socialise and have friendship and peer groups; lack of opportunities for team sport and wider access to clubs and activities.

“While it is recognised that the children have benefited in some ways from a very small class size it has also been recognised that the small numbers have impacted on the ability to collaborate and work with peers.

“As a result the pupils have been attending Newlands Primary School in Romanno Bridge once a week to give them opportunities to develop wider friendship groups and take part in group learning and play activities.”

The remaining pupils are to be transferred to Newlands, which shares a headteacher with Eddleston.

Pupils from Eddleston have in the recent past been transferred to Halyrude, Kingsland, Newlands, Priorsford and West Linton primary schools.

The school roll fluctuated between 63 and 51 between 1999 and 2017, but has fallen steadily in the last five years.

If the mothballing plan is rubber-stamped it is estimated the yearly cost of transporting children to alternative schools would be in the region of £47,000.

Members will also be told that the school building and grounds will be maintained over the mothballing period.