Parents Assured Schools Are Safe After PPP Safety Scare

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South Lanarkshire Council ordered to carry out inspections in schools as a number of new builds in Edinburgh are checked for defects.

The council have moved to reassure parents in East Kilbride that the town’s schools are safe following serious defects being found in buildings in Edinburgh.

South Lanarkshire Council say no schools – primary or secondary – were built by Miller Construction, now owned by Galliford Try, under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative at the centre of the Edinburgh scandal.

Thousands of pupils and their parents in the capital were left in limbo after the closure of 17 schools due to fears the buildings aren’t safe.

However, senior pupils at three high schools returned to their own schools today (Wednesday) as their buildings were only partly refurbished by the PPP project

Problems first arose in January when hundreds of bricks were blown from a wall at Oxgangs Primary School during Storm Gertrude.

The school reopened after a few days – but was closed again in March when an inspection revealed serious concerns about the way the external wall had been constructed when the school was built 10 years ago.

With schools in East Kilbride still shut for the Easter holidays, the council checks in South Lanarkshire are ongoing after the Scottish Government ordered all local authorities to inspect their school buildings.

South Lanarkshire Council’s executive director of education, Jim Gilhooly, said: “South Lanarkshire pupils are still on holiday and are not due to return until next week. We have already undertaken some checks and have no safety issues at this time.

“However, local authorities are awaiting detailed information from the Scottish Government in relation to the recent further structural concerns raised by Edinburgh City Council, and will undertake necessary safety checks as a matter of priority.”

The SNP’s education spokesperson Sheena Wardhaugh said: “We have had a discussion with chief executive Lindsay Freeland and Jim Gilhooly, executive director of education resources, and I am satisfied SLC is being extremely proactive in this matter.

“In January, when the storm damaged Oxgangs Primary, we immediately surveyed all our PPP secondary schools and there are no problems.

“Now, in partnership with the Scottish Government, we will now inspect all of our primary schools and in fact all of our new builds whether they are schools or not.

“The safety of young people and staff is paramount.

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