AMBITIOUS plans to create a single intergenerational learning campus in Jedburgh – thus replacing the town’s secondary school and two primaries – have been unveiled this week.

And parents have been told the new facility, on a central site in Hartrigge Park – could be up and running by 2020.

“The potential impact of this development on our pupils and our town is fantastic,” said Susan Oliver, head teacher of 440-pupil Jedburgh Grammar School where a community engagement event on the proposal will be held today (Wednesday).

The need for a major shake-up of education provision in the town was highlighted a year ago when Scottish Borders Council launched a preliminary public consultation on the future of its entire school estate.

Parents and pupils in the clusters around the nine secondaries in the region were asked for their views.

And 75% of all the responses came from Jedburgh, which is currently served by Jedburgh Grammar, 210-pupil Parkside Primary and 150 pupil Howdenburn Primary.

Existing provision in the town was roundly criticised for the poor condition of its buildings and facilities and, in September last year, the council agreed that feasibility work should be carried out to consider options for improvement.

In a letter to parents, urging them to attend today’s event, Donna Manson, SBC’s service director children and young people, reveals the results of that work.

“The council has the vision of delivering a single campus which will provide nursery, primary and secondary education for children from 2-18 years,” states Ms Manson. “There will also be facilities for children with additional support needs.

“The campus will have the have the very best sporting and PE facilities, exceptional playground and outdoor learning provision, state of the art classrooms and learning spaces, the very best IT infrastructure and first class leisure and dining spaces.

“The campus will be designed to strengthen Jedburgh as a learning town where children and people of all ages can grow and learn together.

“The campus will have extended childcare and out of school provision for young people of all ages. There will be all day long café and recreation facilities for families and access to healthy living classes, gym facilities, relaxation spaces, cycle tracks and play spaces, as well as adult learning classes.

“The council views the campus as an essential community asset and believes it will bring many fantastic educational and wider community learning benefits to people of all ages.”

Ms Manson revealed that detailed designs, site analysis and preparatory work have already commenced and the council has secured the advice of leading architects.

“The council would aim to deliver this vision by 2020,” she states. “There is a great deal of work to be carried out and we need the support of the whole community to deliver this fantastic opportunity within the council’s timeline.”

Ms Manson says that after today’s engagement event – in the Jedburgh Grammar gym hall from 10am till 8pm – the council will conduct a statutory consultation in May and June on the permanent closures of Parkside, Howdenburn and Jedburgh Grammar. A decision on these closures would then by taken by the council and sent to the Scottish Government for approval.

She expected the council to make a decision on the procurement of the single campus in October and for site construction to commence so that the 2020 delivery timescale is met.