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Fire-hit high school won't reopen before Christmas break

Peebles High School has been 'badly affected by smoke damage' after a fire on Thursday.

By Jack Thomson

Published 29 Nov 2019.

A high school severely damaged by a blaze in the Scottish Borders will not reopen before the Christmas break.

Peebles High School has been "badly affected by smoke damage" after a fire tore through the building on Thursday.

Scottish Borders Council has said - despite the "brilliant efforts" of firefighters - it would not be safe to reopen the school on Tuesday as originally planned.

Council chief executive Tracey Logan said "it just wouldn't be safe or practical" to open next week.

The old gymnasium and art classrooms are some of areas in the school most affected by the blaze, which broke out shortly before 1pm.

Other parts of the campus, such as the tower block, have also been affected.

The council is working closely with the school's management team to organise learning plans for each year group while the school is shut.

This will include using other locations for classes, as well as online learning.

Ms Logan said: "This fire has resulted in some serious damage to the school and it just wouldn't be safe or practical to open it without taking time to properly assess the damage and plan the recovery.

"To minimise disruption we've taken a swift decision to close it right through to the Christmas break.

"We're making sure we have plans in place to ensure pupils have the best learning experience possible and are supported appropriately for the remaining 14 school days left before the holidays.

"There will be a particular focus on helping pupils who are preparing to sit prelim exams."