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Kelso High School

Kelso Public School
(now Abbey Row Centre)

Schools in Kelso

Since the twelfth century, Kelso and its people have placed great value on education. The first grammar school recorded was at Roxburgh in 1152. When Roxburgh was abandoned, the school became part of the abbey buildings. After the reformation, it became Kelso Grammar School. Overseen by the Duke of Roxburghe, the Kirk Session and the Heritors, the school catered for boys only and was fee-paying. The amount one paid depended on how many subjects one wished to be taught, and at how much they were valued - Mathematics and Classics were always the most expensive. At this time, there were many private schools, about half a dozen of which catered for girls only, and the 'Industrial Ragged School' which was supported by voluntary subscriptions. The 30 pupils there were taught shoemaking and sewing in addition to their normal lessons.

Many famous people passed through the doors of Kelso Grammar School during its lifetime. It closed in February 1873. The site behind the Abbey was redeveloped for a new school - Kelso Public School. It opened in 1879 with 523 pupils. That site remained a school until the Army took it over in 1939. Prior to that date, the town schools - High, Public and Infant had all been combined into one organisation, with the Abbey Row site being the Kelso High Primary School, with the building in Edenside Road, opposite the Tait Hall (now part of Grove House), the High School. After the War, the Primary School returned to Abbey Row where it remained until 1970 when the new Edenside building was opened. In 1980 a new primary school was built at Broomlands to cater for the families of the new housing estates being built on that side of town.

The High School had moved from Edenside Road to the new site in Bowmont Street in 1939 with 693 pupils. With the closing of the Junior Secondary Departments of the schools at Morebattle and Newtown St Boswells and the raising of the school leaving age to 15 then 16, the roll of Kelso High School climbed to almost 900, before declining again. Today, the High School has Edenside, Broomlands, Ednam, Sprouston, Yetholm and Morebattle Primary Schools as its associated primaries.


Kelso High School, Bowmont Street, Kelso. Tel. 01573 224444
Broomlands Primary School, Ednam Road, Kelso. Tel. 01573 223070
Edenside Primary School, Inch Road, Kelso. Tel. 01573 224264
Ednam Primary School, Ednam, Kelso. Tel. 01573 224172
Morebattle Primary School, Morebattle, Kelso. Tel. 01573 440236
Sprouston Primary School, Kelso. Tel. 01573 224873
Yetholm Primary School, Yetholm, Kelso. Tel. 01573 420363

Kelso Scotland, Scottish Borders UK