3 More Edinburgh Schools To Close Temporarily

17 March 2016, 19:20 | Updated: 17 March 2016, 19:21

Three further schools in Edinburgh will temporarily close over structural concerns after one primary shut earlier this week.

Oxgangs Primary has been closed since Wednesday following an investigation after part of a wall blew off during Storm Gertrude in January.

Now, Edinburgh City Council said three more schools built by the same contractors will temporarily close - St Peter's RC Primary, Firrhill High and Braidburn Special School.

All four schools were built through the same public private partnership project around 10 years ago.

After hundreds of bricks were blown off the wall at Oxgangs during the storm, Edinburgh Schools Partnership carried out detailed surveys and discovered a problem with the walls at the schools.

The issue concerns the width of the wall cavities and the wall ties and requires remedial works.

The four schools will all be closed on Friday, with "further detailed tests'' to be carried out at Firrhill and Braidburn at the weekend. The area affected at Firrhill is an extension and it will be fenced off so the school can open on Monday. If Braidburn cannot reopen on Monday alternative arrangements will be put in place.

As a result of the latest survey at St Peter's, it will be closed until the end of the Easter holidays with the council looking into alternative schooling arrangements being put in place for next week.

Both St Peter's and Oxgangs are expected to reopen on Monday April 11 after repairs.

Councillor Paul Godzik, education convener, said: "The health and safety of our pupils and staff is our top priority and therefore the council has decided to temporarily close these schools as a purely precautionary measure.

"Whilst the survey results have indicated that these schools could continue to operate in normal weather conditions until the necessary works are carried out we are unwilling to take any risk.

"We fully recognise the inconvenience caused by these closures and we would like to apologise to parents for this, however I am sure everyone will understand why we have taken these steps.''