PARENTS “hoped for more” from Scottish Borders Council’s (SBC) long-awaited engagement report on plans for a new Peebles High School.

Hundreds of people attended public meetings in Peebles, Innerleithen and West Linton in February to view and comment on the local authority’s proposals.

Based on those gatherings, SBC’s report was published online recently and includes details such as the revised dual height assembly space with illustrative graphics.

Despite welcoming its publication, the Peebles High School Parent Council new build sub group said the report failed to address some concerns.

Group spokesperson Tristan Compton said: “The report fails to address the final acoustic design, still contains no Equalities Impact Assessment, and is missing any plan for ongoing engagement with users and the community as the project progresses.

“These are also issues we have asked SBC to address and had expected answers by now.”

Mr Compton added: “We are pleased to see the improvements in the hall space and reduction in the number of open plan classrooms.

“We still have queries about the hall design and layout and have been unable to get answers to these queries despite attempts over the past month.

“The hall appears to have been made smaller than what was proposed at the February engagement sessions, and there are practical issues about access to the stage, doors, fire exits, and space for musicians at performances.

“We are concerned that teaching staff from the departments affected by these changes do not appear to have been consulted either.

“Overall, while any progress is to be welcomed, we had hoped for more.”

The SBC report states that “almost all classrooms are now fully enclosed”.

It also details the toilet provision for the new school with “each individual toilet being assigned to any combination of male, female, all-gender, teacher or pupil”.

Every facility is a fully enclosed room incorporating a toilet, wash basin, mirror, paper towels and solid doors and walls.

The report adds: “Recognising that the design of toilet facilities can have an impact on pupil wellbeing and bullying, and to provide maximum flexibility to the school on how they arrange their toilet access, every toilet has been designed to be a fully self-enclosed room.

“Toilets are clustered typically in groups of six or seven and are dispersed around the school. Each cluster contains an accessible toilet.”

Detailing assembly hall improvements the report states: “Recognising the strength of feedback from the community a dedicated double height assembly space has been incorporated into the design.

“It is fully enclosed and will accommodate 340 people.”

Last week, Selkirkshire councillor Leagh Douglas, executive member for education and lifelong learning, said: “After carefully listening to the feedback received through the various engagement sessions, held in February, we have been able to address some of the concerns from within the community regarding the new school through further design changes.”