Scotland

Building defects: Was your school one of the 30 affected?

A BBC Scotland investigation has revealed that a total of 30 schools in Scotland have had to make repairs due to structural defects in the last five years.

It comes after 17 schools in Edinburgh were closed earlier this year due to safety concerns.

The BBC sent Freedom of Information requests to councils across the country asking what, if any, structural faults had been found at schools in their areas in the last five years.

So what schools have been affected and when?


St Ninian's High School in East Renfrewshire - 2010

Image copyright Copyrighted to Starfish Construction
Image caption Walls ties were found hanging loose at St Ninian's High

In 2010, defects were discovered at St Ninian's in East Renfrewshire.

Engineers found wall ties were not properly embedded because the joints in the walls were not aligned. Photographs obtained using Freedom of Information legislation showed metal ties dangling mid-air rather than linking the exterior and interior walls.

East Renfrewshire Council paid more than £870,000 to carry out the necessary repairs.

The local authority said it did not inform parents of the issue because "at no time was there a health and safety risk to pupils, staff or visitors".

It said the matter was discussed "openly" at a full council meeting in May 2013.


Schools in South Lanarkshire - 2012

Image copyright Copyrighted to Semperian
Image caption Part of a wall at Trinity High School in Rutherglen collapsed in 2012

In January 2012, problems were identified at two schools in South Lanarkshire.

In stormy weather, during the Christmas holidays, walls collapsed at both Trinity High School in Rutherglen and Duncanrig High School in East Kilbride.

Repair work was overseen by Morgan Sindall, the company which runs the schools.

It then looked at all 16 schools it has responsibility for in South Lanarkshire and found a small number of wall and header ties needed replaced at an additional eight schools:

  • Biggar High School
  • Calderside Academy
  • Carluke High School
  • Holy Cross High School
  • John Ogilvie High School
  • Lanark Grammar School
  • St Andrews and St Brides High School
  • Uddingston Grammar

Lourdes Primary School in Glasgow - 2012

Image caption Structural problems were found at Lourdes Primary in Glasgow

After the problems with schools in Edinburgh were identified earlier this year it emerged that a similar structural fault had been found at Lourdes Primary in Glasgow in November 2012.

Engineers found header ties missing.

The building firm involved, Miller Construction, was also involved in the Edinburgh school crisis.

Lourdes Primary was temporarily closed with pupils moved to other schools.

Glasgow City Council said the issue was handled quickly and effectively, with Miller Construction accepting all responsibility and covering the cost of the repair work.

Structural surveys were subsequently carried out on all Glasgow schools built by Miller Construction and came back clear.


Balfron High School in Stirlingshire - 2016

Image copyright Stirling Observer
Image caption Repair work has been carried out at Balfron High in Stirlingshire

In May this year, Balfron High School in Stirlingshire was partially closed after structural problems were identified.

A wall at the school had been damaged during winter storms and after checks were carried out by engineers issues with walls in the stairwell, gym and atrium were discovered.

Again, the problems centred on wall and header tie defects.

Initial repair work was carried out before the holidays with further work due to be completed ahead of pupils returning after the summer break.


Schools in Edinburgh - 2016

Image caption St Peter's Primary was among 17 schools affected in Edinburgh

The problems with schools in Edinburgh came to light earlier this year during inspections carried out following a wall collapse at Oxgangs Primary School.

Other schools affected included:

  • Brainburn School
  • Broomhouse Primary
  • Castleview Primary
  • Craigour Park Primary
  • Craigmount High
  • Craigroyston Primary
  • Drummond Community High
  • Firrhill High
  • Forthview Primary
  • Gracemount High
  • Pirniehill Primary
  • Rowanfield Royal High
  • St David's Primary
  • St Joseph's Primary
  • St Peters RC Primary

Repairs have now been completed at all the Edinburgh schools, with pupils due to return to their classrooms this week.

The council has assured parents all the buildings affected by the closures are now safe.

BBC Scotland Investigates: How Safe is My School? On BBC1 Scotland at 19:00 on Monday 22 August.

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