To colleagues, pupils, parents/carers and partners,

Please see below re HMI report,

Your faithfully,

Kevin Ryalls

Headteacher (Interim)

Education Scotland’s report on Peebles High School published

The Education Scotland report on Peebles High School has been published today, Tuesday 23 January 2024 on the Education Scotland website at

During their visit in October last year, inspectors talked to parents/carers and young people and worked closely with the head teacher and his staff.

The Inspection team found several key strengths in the school’s work:

Almost all members of the school community continue to show resilience in responding to the ongoing challenges caused by previous periods of significant disruption.

Strong relationships between almost all staff and young people result in positive learning experiences, and staff are working well together to improve learning, teaching, and assessment.  The majority of young people are polite and eager to learn.

Staff in the enhanced provision were found to have developed a caring and positive learning environment and they support young people well to make effective progress in their learning.

Staff have maintained high levels of attainment for most young people in the senior phase. Senior leaders and staff are beginning to implement approaches designed to raise the attainment of all learners.

The following areas for improvement were identified and discussed with the head teacher and a representative from Scottish Borders Council:

  1. Senior leaders and staff need to improve the planning of learning, teaching, and assessment in the Broad General Education. They need to develop approaches to ensure that all young people make appropriate progress in their learning.
  2. Staff should develop a clear understanding of how to identify and respond to all young people’s individual learning needs.
  3. The strategic leadership of the school requires improvement. Senior leaders should monitor and evaluate the work of the school more effectively to identify priorities for improvement. They then need to evaluate how well these priorities are making a difference to improving outcomes for young people. This is especially important for the safeguarding of and raising the attainment and achievement of all learners.

As a result of the inspection findings, the school will receive additional support and time to make necessary improvements. Education Scotland will return to carry out a further inspection of the school within twelve months of the publication of this report.

Interim Headteacher, Kevin Ryalls said: “I am looking forward to working with the school community so that, together, we can build on our strengths and deliver the improvement priorities identified by Education Scotland to further improve the outcomes for our young people”.

Peebles High School Parent Council Chair, Ellie Johnstone, added: “The Parent Council is keen to play its part in addressing  the key areas highlighted by the report. We continue to work closely with the school, to ensure that all young people have a positive experience and achieve the best possible outcomes”.

PHS HMI Action Plan January 2024

We will build on the strengths in our school to make improvements in relation to:-


  • communication with the whole school community
  • the clarity of school priorities
  • the ongoing evaluation of our work including pupil and parent voice

School experience

  • updating the positive behaviour management policy
  • the quality and consistency of teaching and learning including sharing best practice

Tracking pupil progress

  • planning learning to support pupil progress in S1-3
  • assessment processes to track the progress of pupils in S1-3 including literacy and numeracy
  • strategies to best meet the needs of all learners

Attainment and Achievement

  • literacy and numeracy qualifications
  • using data to plan interventions with groups and individuals
  • coursing and the curriculum
  • skills and achievements in relation to the wider curriculum in and out of school
  • the best possible outcomes for all young people across all levels