17 Edinburgh Schools To Close Over Safety Concerns

9 April 2016, 08:37

Oxgangs Primary

Seventeen schools across Edinburgh will close from Monday over safety fears related to construction issues, authorities have announced.

Council officials acted after Edinburgh Schools Partnership (ESP), which builds, manages and operates the school, was unable to give safety guarantees.

Structural problems were discovered after part of a wall blew off Oxgangs Primary during Storm Gertrude in January.

The school was closed in March after an investigation found problems with the walls. Three more schools, all part of the same PPP1 contract, closed less than a week later.

Contractors carrying out remedial works at Oxgangs Primary on Friday found new issues and all schools built under the same contract will shut from Monday.

Edinburgh City Council council leader Andrew Burns said: ``Clearly we have every right to expect these schools to have been built to a good standard and in accordance with industry practice. We now know this isn't the case. ESP have let the council down but more importantly they have let the children, parents and staff of this city down.

''We have today alerted the Scottish Government to our concerns.

''The safety of children and our staff is our top priority and we're simply not willing to take any risks. As such we have no option but to close these schools and Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre.''

ESP has apologised to the council's chief executive.

The schools closed from Monday are: 

Braidburn

Broomhouse Primary

Castleview Primary

Craigour Park Primary

Craig mount High

Craigroyston Primary

Drummond Community High

Firrhill High

Forthview Primary

Grace mount High

Oxgangs Primary School

Pirniehill Primary

Rowanfield

Royal High

St David's Primary

St Joseph's Primary 

St Peters RC Primary.

The Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre will also shut.

Andy Wightman, Scottish Green MSP candidate for Lothian, said: ''This is absolutely staggering. As of Monday thousands of children and young people are going to be thrown into confusion and their families into deep anxiety because the private consortium which built and runs those 'PPP' schools cannot guarantee pupil safety.

''A full scale inquiry is needed into this fiasco, first and foremost for the schools immediately affected but also more generally for this whole set of arrangements for building and maintaining public buildings.''

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