South Scotland

Peebles High School fire: Home learning plan put in place

fire peebles Image copyright @1Rigz
Image caption Hundreds of children will be taught at home after the fire at their school on Thursday

Hundreds of school children in the Borders will stay at home this week after a major fire on Thursday.

Peebles High School was badly damaged in the blaze and will remain shut until at least Christmas.

Scottish Borders Council is in the process of putting in place alternative arrangements for the education of 1,300 pupils.

Meanwhile police have asked the public to stay off the site after reports of youths entering the building.

Art classrooms, a gymnasium and surrounding areas suffered "significant damage" in the incident on Thursday.

It prompted an early decision to keep the school closed until at least the new year.

Image caption An investigation into the incident is continuing

Arrangements for the education of students are still being finalised but some details have started to emerge.

Monday is a school holiday in the Borders but S4 to S6 pupils will stay at home for the rest of the week and use online learning tools.

S1 to S3 children will have similar arrangements for at least Tuesday.

All pre-Christmas prelim exams have been postponed to the new year while efforts continue to accommodate pupils at another site.

Arrangements are also being made to return items which were left at the school while it was evacuated.

In the meantime, an appeal has been made to the public to stay off the site after reports of young people having entered the building.

Image copyright Hector Kerr
Image caption The public has been asked to stay off the site following the fire

"This is a hazardous and unsafe environment for anyone to be in," said Ch Supt John McKenzie.

"We would ask parents and carers to assist us; talk to your child about the potential dangers and the consequences as this could make a difference to their safety.

"We will take action against anyone found within the site."

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service area commander Stephen Gourlay said not only was the area dangerous it was also the location of a "live incident".

Investigations into the cause of the blaze are still ongoing.

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